CRTC releases 2011 financial results for Canadian cable and satellite companies

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, April 4, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released statistical and financial information on Canadian broadcast distribution companies for the broadcast year ended August 31, 2011. This sector of the industry demonstrated sustained growth as the total revenues climbed from $12.5 billion to $13.5 billion in one year.

Cable companies

Cable companies reported revenues of $11 billion in 2011, which were drawn from basic and non-basic television services as well as Internet access and telephone services. This represented an increase of 8.2% over the previous year’s total revenues of $10.1 billion. At the same time, operating expenses were 10.7% higher during the same period, rising from $5.5 billion to $6.1 billion. This increase was due in part to investments in technology and equipment, as well as higher affiliation payments to the pay and specialty services that these companies distribute.

Although there was little change in the profits before interest and taxes (PBIT), which came in at $2.5 billion, the PBIT margin declined slightly from 25.3% to 23.1%.

The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a cable company’s basic television service increased by 2.8% to reach 8.5 million.

In 2011, cable companies employed 25,241 people and spent $2 billion on salaries. In comparison, the previous year these companies had 24,074 employees and paid a total of $1.8 billion in salaries.

Satellite and multipoint distribution companies

From 2010 to 2011, revenues for satellite and multipoint distribution system companies increased by 5.8%, or from $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. Operating expenses remained consistent from one year to the next, rising only slightly from $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion. In addition, these companies reported a PBIT of $174.6 million, up from $163.9 million in 2010, while the PBIT margin remained almost unchanged at 6.9%.

Satellite and multipoint distribution companies had 2.9 million subscribers to their basic television service, which did not represent a significant change from the previous year.

In 2011, these companies employed 2,478 people and paid $222.1 million in salaries, whereas the previous year, they had 2,704 employees and paid $232.7 million in salaries.


Contributions to Canadian programming

In 2011, broadcasting distribution companies directed $488.9 million, or 6.5% of the revenues collected from subscribers of basic and non-basic television services, to the creation of Canadian programming. This was an increase of 4.3% over the previous year. Of this total, $206.2 million was directed to the Canadian Media Fund, $58.2 million to independent funds, $106.6 million to the Local Programming Improvement Fund and $117.9 million to cable community channels and other sources of local expression.

Affiliation payments

In 2011, cable companies paid $2.1 billion in wholesale fees to the pay and specialty services they distribute, an increase of 10.2% over the $1.9 billion paid the previous year. The fees paid by satellite companies rose by 2.8% in one year, going from $894.4 million to $919 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.

Today, the CRTC also published a similar report on conventional television stations. Statistical and financial information for radio, specialty, pay and pay-per-view services as well as video-on-demand services will be released in the coming months. 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.

Broadcast Distribution – Statistical and Financial Summaries 2007–2011


The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.



Broadcast Distribution - Statistical and Financial Summaries 2007-2011

Conventional Television - Statistical and Financial Summaries 2007-2011

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