The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial information on the 675 commercial radio stations operating in Canada. These annual reports allow Canadians to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communications industry. Revenues for the broadcast year ended August 31, 2012, increased marginally over the previous year despite competition from satellite, online and mobile services.
Total revenues for AM and FM stations increased by 0.4%, from $1.61 billion in 2011 to $1.62 billion in 2012. Expenses declined by $3.7 million during the same period. As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) rose from $311 million to $323 million, and the PBIT margin improved from 19.3% to 19.9%.
Revenues generated by commercial radio stations are used to provide a variety of programming to Canadians, support established and emerging Canadian talent, and offer employment opportunities to thousands of Canadians. In 2012, these stations employed 10,050 people and paid $681 million in salaries.
Canada’s FM radio stations continued to generate the majority of total revenues. The addition of 11 new FM stations in 2012 brought the number operating in Canada to 546. In 2012, these stations earned $1.31 billion in revenues, slightly up from $1.3 billion in 2011, while producing a wide array of high-quality Canadian programming that informs and entertains listeners.
Revenues for English-language FM stations remained virtually the same at $1.04 billion, while those for French-language FM stations increased by 1.7% to $251.8 million. Revenues for ethnic FM stations grew by 1.9% for a total of $20 million.
The number of AM stations in Canada declined from 134 in 2011 to 129 in 2012 as some stations converted to the FM band. This trend is reflected in the total revenues, which declined by 1.6% to $306 million compared to $311 million in 2011.
Earnings for English-language AM stations remained relatively the same at approximately $275 million. In contrast, ethnic AM stations saw their revenues increase by over 3% to $25.2 million.
Commercial radio policy
In its recently released Three-Year Plan (LINK), the CRTC announced that it will be reviewing its commercial radio policy in 2013-2014. This review will be launched in fall 2013.
Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries to produce a series of reports. This year’s report on the radio sector provides data on a national basis and by individual markets, as well as on the 82 radio stations operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The CRTC recently published the 2012 financial results for conventional television stations, specialty, pay and pay-per-view television services and video-on-demand services, and broadcasting distribution companies. It will publish the 2013 edition of its Communications Monitoring Report in September.