The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released statistical and financial information on Canadian broadcasting distribution companies for the broadcast year ended August 31, 2012. During the past year, cable companies reported a modest growth in revenues and subscribers, while satellite companies recorded a decline in both categories. The combined revenues for these companies increased by 4.2%, from $13.5 billion in 2011 to $14.1 billion in 2012. Similarly, the total number of subscribers rose by 1% from 11.4 million to 11.5 million.
Cable companies – Cable companies reported revenues of $11.6 billion in 2012, which were drawn from basic and non-basic television services as well as Internet access and telephone services. This represented an increase of 5.7% over the previous year’s total revenues of $11 billion. Operating expenses were 5.8% higher during the same period, rising from $6.1 billion to $6.5 billion. Profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) remained virtually the same coming in at $2.6 billion, while the PBIT margin declined slightly from 23.1% to 22.2%.
Canadian households subscribing to a cable company’s basic television service increased by 2% to reach 8.7 million.
In 2012, cable companies increased hiring by 4.8%, raising employment figures from 25,291 to 26,502 people. As a result, total employee salaries jumped by 9.9%, from $2 billion to $2.2 billion
Satellite companies – Following successive years of steady growth, revenues for satellite companies decreased by 2%, or from $2.55 billion in 2011 to $2.5 billion in 2012.
Operating expenses also declined from $1.9 billion to $1.7 billion. As a result, these companies experienced an increase in PBIT, going from $175.7 million in 2011 to $389.2 million in 2012. This contributed to a PBIT margin of 15.6%, which was more than double last year’s margin of 6.9%.
Canadian households subscribing to a satellite company’s basic television service decreased by 1.8% to reach 2.8 million.
These companies employed 2,098 people and paid $188.9 million in salaries, both of which were lower than the previous year. In 2011, they had 2,478 employees and paid $222.1 million in salaries.
Contributions to Canadian programming – In 2012, broadcasting distribution companies directed $506.2 million of revenues collected from subscribers of basic and non-basic television services to the creation of Canadian programming. This was an increase of 2.4% over the previous year. Of the total amount, $208.5 million was directed to the Canada Media Fund, $62 million to independent funds, $112 million to the Local Programming Improvement Fund and $123.7 million to cable community channels and other sources of local expression.
Affiliation payments – In 2012, cable companies paid $2.3 billion in wholesale fees to the pay and specialty services they distribute, an increase of 6% over the $2.1 billion paid the previous year. The fees paid by satellite companies declined by 11.7% in one year, going from $920 million to $812 million.
CRTC reports – Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries to produce a series of reports. The CRTC’s report on broadcasting distribution companies includes data for non-programming services, such as Internet access and telephone services.
In the coming weeks, the CRTC will publish similar reports on specialty, pay and pay-per-view services as well as video-on-demand services, conventional television stations and radio stations. Following the publication of these reports, the CRTC will issue its annual Communications Monitoring Report, which provides an overview of the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries.
These annual reports allow interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communications industry.