Ad revenue steady for TVA Group this quarter, but magazines still down

The resumption of hockey was beneficial – and also expensive – for the company.

Operating revenue for TVA for the third quarter was down less than 5% year-over-year, a combination of the return of sports and a gradual strengthening of Canada’s ad market from its Q2 low. Additionally, grants to the publishing sector helped offset areas that are still in need of help.

TVA, a subsidiary of Quebecor Media, saw $119.5 million in total revenue, with $50.6 million from advertising alone – up from the same period in 2019. TVA president France Lauzière attributed the bump to, among other factors, the Montreal Canadiens’ qualifying for the Playoffs, which normally occur in Q2.

Growth certainly wasn’t driven by the magazine segment, which TVA admitted is still struggling more than broadcasting in terms of advertising. Additionally, magazine advertising is still down significantly on a year-to-date basis, having taken in $155.4 million so far this year, down from $187.5 million from the same point last year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the broadcasting segment was $16.9 million, down just under $5 million from Q3 2019. While revenue was strong for networks including TVA Sports, there was a significant rise in costs, particularly for TVA Sports, which undertook large costs associated with the resuming of the NHL Playoffs. However, this was partially offset by TVA Network and the commercial production service segment’s higher adjusted EBITDA.

The magazine segment, despite struggling with advertising revenue, reported a favourable increase in its adjusted EBITDA – just under $3 million, up $555,000. This was the result cost savings outweighing the decrease in revenues and additional grants from the government to publishers.