Specialty services increase investment in Canadian programming

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today released statistical and financial information on Canadian specialty, pay, pay-per-view, video-on-demand television services for the broadcast year ending August 31, 2015.

In 2015, the pace of growth for these services slowed as their total revenues increased by 0.5%, or $19 million, to $4.3 billion. Revenue growth was hampered by a $19 million decline in advertising revenue, which was offset by a $30.6 million increase in subscription revenues. Expenditures continued to increase, rising from $3.1 billion in 2014 to $3.3 billion in 2015. As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) dropped from $1 billion to approximately $884.9 million. Nevertheless, the PBIT margin remained healthy at 20.8%.

Specialty services invested $1.5 billion in the creation of new television programs produced by Canadians, reflecting an increase of 7.8% compared to the $1.4 billion invested in the previous year. Of the $1.5 billion invested in Canadian-made programming, $409.9 million went to independent Canadian producers, up 9.1% (or $34.1 million) from 2014.

Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications sectors to produce a series of reports. To increase Canadians’ access to relevant information related to the Canadian broadcasting system, this year’s publication on specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand television services includes the amount they spent on animation and children’s programming.

Quick facts

  • In 2015, there were 228 specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand television services operating in Canada.
  • Specialty, pay, PPV and VOD services employed a total of 5,899 people in 2015.
  • Bilingual and English-language services generated $3.4 billion in revenues, a decrease of 1.1% (or $36.7 million) in 2015.
  • French-language services produced revenues of $755.6 million, an increase of $57.8 million in 2015.
  • Revenues for 38 third-language services decreased by –$2.1 million to $78.5 million.
  • The 10 highest grossing services out of the 228 operating in Canada accounted for 37.7% of the total revenues generated in 2015.
  • For the first time, Sportsnet One and TVA Sports were among the top-10 highest grossing channels, following their acquisition of exclusive NHL programming rights.
  • Pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services continued to struggle, with their revenues decreasing by 6.3%, or $49.7 million, between 2014 and 2015.
  • Spending on foreign programming by specialty services increased from $389.2 million in 2014 to $434.2 million in 2015.
  • The CRTC recently published the financial results for conventional television stations and AM and FM radio stations.
  • The CRTC will publish results for cable and satellite entities. Following the publication of these reports, the CRTC will issue its annual Communications Monitoring Report in the fall.
  • The CRTC’s annual reports help interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communications industry, and participate in the CRTC’s public consultations.

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Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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