CRTC releases 2014 financial results for Canadian cable and satellite companies

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today released statistical and financial information on Canadian terrestrial and satellite broadcast distribution companies for the year that ended August 31, 2014.

Overall, these companies’ revenues increased 1.5% from $8.8 billion in 2013 to $8.9 billion in 2014, despite the number of subscribers remaining relatively flat over the period, with a moderate decrease from 11.5 million to 11.4 million.

The revenues of cable and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service providers increased by a combined 3% from $6.3 billion in 2013 to $6.5 billion in 2014, while the number of subscribers held steady at 8.8 million. Growth was fuelled by Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), which added 29% more subscribers over the period and saw revenues increase by 39%, while the subscriptions and revenues of cable service providers decreased by 5.2% and 3.2%, respectively. For their part, satellite television providers saw revenues decrease by 2.4% to $2.4 billion, while the number of subscribers dropped by 4.9% to just under 2.6 million.

Spending by broadcasting distribution companies on content made by Canadians reached $474.9 million in 2014. Of this amount, $219.3 million was directed to the Canada Media Fund, $64.1 million to independent funds and $151.6 million to cable-based community channels and other sources of local content. The companies employed a total of 29,028 people in 2014.

New report format on performance of programming services
For the first time, the CRTC’s report on cable and satellite companies does not include information on Internet access, telephone services and other non-programming items.

Over the years, networks have evolved and are now used to offer a variety of advanced communication services, in addition to television programming. Moreover, companies are accessing the networks of the large companies to offer their own services to Canadians. As such, the CRTC’s report on cable and satellite companies cannot provide a complete picture of the Internet and telephony landscape. The CRTC will publish in-depth information on Internet and telephone services in the forthcoming edition of the Communications Monitoring Report.

The CRTC produces a series of reports annually to compile financial information on the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. The CRTC has already released its report on Canadian local television stations for 2014. It will soon release reports on specialty, pay, per-per-view and video-on-demand services, and on AM and FM radio services.

These reports allow interested parties to keep up to date on the situation in the Canadian communications industry and help them participate in the CRTC’s public consultations.

TV Code for television service providers

As part of its Let’s Talk TV decisions, the CRTC has developed a draft code of conduct for television service providers to address the clarity and content of agreements. The CRTC is currently hosting an online discussion forum on the TV Code to ensure that it contains all the essential elements to empower Canadian television subscribers.

Canadians are invited to take part in the discussion and to share their views on such topics as offers and promotions, the clarity of written agreements, changing programming options and service calls. The discussion forum will remain open until May 25, 2015.

Quick facts: Cable and IPTV companies

  • In 2014, cable and IPTV companies reported revenues of $6.5 billion from their programming services. This total represents an increase of 3% from $6.3 billion in 2013.
  • Operating expenses for these companies increased by 7.6% from $5.1 billion to $5.5 billion.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a cable or IPTV company increased by 0.2% from 8.81 million to 8.83 million.
  • IPTV continues to register significant growth, with subscribers increasing 29% and revenues up 39% in 2014.
  • Cable companies saw declines in both subscriptions and revenues of 5.2% and 3.2% respectively.
  • In 2014, the total number of terrestrial television distribution company employees rose by 1.3% from 26,852 to 27,188 people. Total employee earnings rose by 5.6% from $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion.
  • In 2014, cable and IPTV companies spent $2.5 billion on affiliation payments for pay and specialty services. This total represents a 7.8% increase compared to the $2.3 billion spent in 2013.

Quick facts: Satellite companies

  • Satellite companies’ revenues decreased by 2.4% from $2.5 billion in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2014.
  • Operating expenses for these companies were essentially unchanged at $1.6 billion.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a satellite company’s television service decreased by 4.9% from 2.7 million to 2.6 million.
  • Satellite companies employed 1,840 people in 2014, down from 1,973 in 2013. These companies spent $162 million on salaries in 2014, down from $183 million the previous year.
  • Satellite companies saw affiliation payments increase by 1.9% from $794 million in 2013 to $809 million in 2014.