Canadian TV and radio broadcasters see revenue jump in 2010: CRTC

All things considered (“things” meaning the dreaded recession), the Canadian television and radio industries are doing pretty well for themselves. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has just released financial information and statistics on those industries in two separate reports. This annual compilation of data is part of a series of CRTC reports that […]

All things considered (“things” meaning the dreaded recession), the Canadian television and radio industries are doing pretty well for themselves.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has just released financial information and statistics on those industries in two separate reports.

This annual compilation of data is part of a series of CRTC reports that cover the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. The results reflect the year ending on Aug. 31, 2010.

For its part, the broadcasting distribution report shows impressive revenue growth. Cable, satellite and multipoint distribution companies saw a combined revenue increase to $12.5 billion in 2010 from $11.4 billion in 2009.

To further break that down, let’s first consider cable companies. Their total revenues jumped by 9.7% in 2010 to $10.1 billion (up from $9.2 billion). Operating expenses also rose by 9% so profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) of $2.5 billion were reported.

In terms of employment, cable companies employed 24,076 people, which equated to $1.8 billion in salaries. Those numbers were both up from the equivalents from previous year: 22,716 and $1.7 billion.

Moving into satellite and multipoint distribution companies, total 2010 revenues were up 8.9% ($2.4 billion) from 2009 ($2.2 billion). Operating expenses were up as well, from $1.75 billion to $1.82 billion.

Employment figures dropped from 2,982 people ($226.2 million in salaries) in 2009 to 2,704 ($232.7 million) in 2010.

Looking back over the last five years, the PBIT of these companies has drastically improved. In 2006, there was a deficit of $32 million; in 2010, there was a profit of $163.9 million. In the same period, the PBIT margin also rose substantially. It went from -1.9% to 6.8%.

On the radio front, a separate CRTC report shows improved local and national ad sales helped Canada’s FM radio stations earn higher revenues and profits in 2010. On the other hand, revenues for AM stations remained relatively flat.

The total revenues for FM and AM stations grew by 2.9% to $1.55 billion in 2010. Expenses increased to $1.21 billion (a 1.5% jump).

That said, PBIT hit $298.4 million in 2010 – up from $271.6 million in 2009.

“Year after year for the last five years you can notice that [the Canadian radio industry] is relatively stable and was relatively unaffected by the financial crisis,” said CRTC spokesperson Denis Carmel. “There was a little dip in 2009, and 2010 sort of recouped where it was before. Radio has weathered the storm pretty well.”

The results include statistics and financial information on the 654 commercial radio stations in Canada.

The Canadian commercial radio industry as a whole employed 10,100 people in 2010 with a total of $640.6 million in salaries. That compares to employment of 10,196 people and $632.9 million in salaries in 2009.

The 513 FM stations operating in Canada (there were 17 new ones in 2010) earned a total of $1.24 billion in total revenues. That’s a jump from 2009, when revenues were $1.2 billion.

In a further breakdown, the report shows that English-language FM stations grew their revenues to $986.6 million – an increase of 2.9% from the previous year. The revenues for French-language FM stations jumped to $239.9 million, a jump of 5.8%.

There was also a marked boost in ethnic FM stations’ revenues – 10.2% in one year to $17.9 million.

On the AM side, the total number of stations continued to decline. In 2006 there were 177; in 2010 there were 141 (nine less than in 2009).

Even with the drop in the number of stations, total revenues for AM stations hardly changed – there was an increase of 0.4% from 2009. For 2010, the revenues were $307.3 million.

The CRTC radio report contains national data as well as data broken down by individual markets. For more data from the 2010 and earlier commercial radio financial summaries, click here.

And for previous broadcast distribution summaries, click here.

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