CRTC releases 2015 financial results for Canadian conventional television stations

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today released statistical and financial information on Canadian conventional television stations for the broadcast year ending August 31, 2015.

In 2015, there were 93 private conventional television stations in operation in Canada, which generated total revenues of $1.76 billion. These stations continued to operate in a challenging environment, with total revenues declining 2.6%, or $46.6 million, from 2014.

To meet the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC requires most television broadcasters to spend a minimum percentage of their revenues on content made by Canadians. In 2015, private conventional television stations invested $652.8 million in Canadian programing, a 5.4% (or $33.5 million) increase from 2014.

Investments in Canadian programming have grown consistently over the last five years as conventional televisions stations spent 16% more in 2015 than in 2011. These investments accounted for 49.8% of total programming expenses in 2015, up from 43.6% in 2011. Of note, private conventional television stations spent $60.9 million less on foreign programming in 2015 compared to 2014, primarily due to a reduction in spending on drama.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC) reported total revenues of $1.1 billion in 2015, down 16.6%, or $220.9 million, from the previous year.

As Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC/SRC continued to invest heavily in Canadian programming. In 2015, these investments totaled $557.2 million, accounting for 96.4% of the CBC/SRC’s total expenditures on programming. In particular, spending on news ($190.9 million) and drama ($144.1 million) accounted for 60.1% of its total expenditures on Canadian programming.

Conventional television stations employed 10,995 people in 2015, with the CBC/SRC employing 5,205 people.

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 conventional television stations includes the amount they spent on animation and children’s programming.

The CRTC recently published the financial results for AM and FM radio stations and will soon publish the results for the specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, as well as cable and satellite companies. Following the publication of these reports, the CRTC will issue its annual Communications Monitoring Report.

These annual reports help interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communication industry and to participate in the CRTC’s public consultations.

Quick facts

Private stations

  • Private conventional television stations saw their revenues drop by 2.6%, from $1.80 billion in 2014 to $1.76 billion in 2015.
  • Expenses went from $1.85 billion in 2014 to $1.82 billion in 2015, a decrease of 1.6%.
  • Profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) declined from –$138.7 million to –$140.9 million, and the PBIT margin decreased from -7.7% to -8%.
  • Investments by private conventional television stations in Canadian programming increased from $619.3 million in 2014 to $652.8 million in 2015.
  • Private conventional television stations invested $49.6 million on Canadian drama series, $5.3 million on films, $86.7 million on human interest programs, $369.6 million on news programs, $7.3 million on long-form documentaries, $30 million for other information programs, $17.1 million for music and variety shows, $21.5 million on sports programming, $17.3 million on game shows, $45 million on reality TV shows, $2.7 million on awards shows, $358,000 on animation programming and $343,000 on children’s programming.
  • As part of these investments, conventional television stations paid $142.1 million to Canadian independent producers.
  • Revenues from the sale of local advertising declined from $333.6 million in 2014 to $330.1 million in 2015, a 1.0% decrease. National advertising revenues for private conventional television stations remained virtually unchanged at $1.2 billion in 2015.


  • In 2015, the CBC/SRC reported advertising revenues of $220.1 million, which represented a decline of 53.6 % from the $474.6 million generated the previous year.
  • The absence of major sporting events in 2015 coupled with the loss of the NHL television rights contributed to the decline in advertising revenues.
  • The amount of Parliamentary Appropriation allocated to the 27 conventional television stations rose by 4.4% to $757.9 million in 2015.
  • The CBC/SRC’s program expenditures totaled $687.3 million; of that amount, $557.2 million (or 81.1%) were expenses related to Canadian programming expenses.
  • The public broadcaster also spent $9 million on animation programming, and $33.8 million on programming targeting children.