Communications Monitoring Report 2019

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Television Sector

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  1. Sector overview
  2. Conventional television stations
  3. Discretionary and on-demand services
  4. Internet-based video services in Canada
  5. Availability of television and video services
  6. Methodology
Infographic 6.1 Overview of the television sector
Infographic 6.1 Overview of the television sector
Long description
  • Television revenues, excluding Internet-based video services, totalled $6.9 billion in 2018 (a decline of 1% compared to 2017), representing 40% of total broadcasting revenues.
    • Private conventional television stations generated $1.5 billion in revenues in 2018, a 4.2% decrease compared to 2017.
    • Revenues of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada (CBC/SRC) conventional television stations totalled $1.1 billion in 2018, a 12.6% growth compared to 2017.
      • In 2018, Parliamentary appropriations accounted for 70% of CBC/SRC conventional television revenues, while advertisement accounted for 23% of these revenues.
    • Discretionary and on-demand services generated $4.2 billion in revenues, down 2.7% from 2017.
      • Discretionary services generated $4 billion in revenues (a decrease of 1.8% from 2017).
      • On-demand services garnered $271 million in revenues (a decrease of 14.5% from 2017.
  • For the first time in the past five years, CPE on news has experienced a positive (5%) growth, reaching $737 million in 2018.
  • According to Ovum estimates, revenues in Canada of Internet-based video services reached $4.3 billion in 2018, growing on average by 38.3% per year from 2014 to 2018.
  • In 2018, there were 762 television services authorized for distribution in Canada, of which 437 (57%) were Canadian.
  • Of the 143 over-the-air television services available in 2018, 11 originating stations (and 7 rebroadcasting transmitters) were serving the official language minority (OLM) population in Canada in the first official language spoken at home.
  • On average, Canadians 18+ watched 26.2 hours per week of traditional television in 2018.
  • Television services reported $3 billion in Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) in 2018.
    • News expenditures represented 24% of that amount, a 5% growth in news expenditures compared to 2017.
    • Spending on news declined on average by 2.2% per year from 2014 to 2018.
    • Expenditures on programs of national interest (PNI) totalled $666 million, a 0.7% decrease from 2017.
  • There were 76 ownership groups operating television services in 2018, the top five groups reported 89% of revenues. The remaining 71 groups shared $722 million in revenues.
  • From 2014 to 2018, advertisement revenues for discretionary services experienced a positive average annual growth increase of 0.3%, whereas subscriber revenues for discretionary services experienced a negative average annual growth of 0.2%. Subscriber revenues remain the most important source of revenue for discretionary services, with 68% of revenue source shares.
  • In 2018, two ownership transactions, with a combined value of $15.5 million, generated $1.5 million in tangible benefits.
Source: CRTC data collection, Ovum, CRTC internal database, Numeris, public disclosure of aggregate annual returns for large ownership groups

In 2018, when combined with discretionary and on-demand services, both private commercial conventional television stations and CBC/SRC conventional television stations generated $6.9 billion in revenues and spent over $3 billion in CPE. Discretionary services reported the majority of revenues (58%) and CPE (56%). In comparison, revenues of Internet-based video services operating in Canada reached $4.3 billion, according to estimates from Ovum.

Canadians 18+ tuned in to 26.2 hours of content per week on average among the 762 conventional and discretionary television services authorized for distribution in Canada. In addition to these tuning hours, Canadians 18+ watched 3.2 hours of Internet television on average per week, for a total of 29.4 hours of content viewing per week.

Consistent with previous years, the top five ownership groups—out of approximately 80 entities in the Canadian television landscape—generated 89% of television revenues in 2018. According to 2018 Numeris data (Canadians, 2+), the top five groups garnered 92% of audience tuning shares in the French-language market while the top four groups garnered 91% of the audience tuning shares in the English-language market.

i. Sector overview

Types of services

The traditional television sector is split into four main segments: private conventional stations, CBC/SRC conventional stations, discretionary services and on-demand services.

In 2018, discretionary services reported generating the largest portion of the television revenues at $4 billion (58%), followed by private conventional stations at $1.5 billion (22%), CBC/SRC conventional stations at $1.1 billion (16%) and on-demand services at $271 million (4%).

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Source: CRTC data collection

There was a slow decline in television revenues from 2014 to 2018: on average, total television revenues decreased annually by 1.8%. However, during the same five-year period, discretionary services still reported a slight average annual revenue growth of 0.6% per year, largely due to the more robust subscription revenues (compared to advertising revenues; see Figure 6.19 for the revenue composition of discretionary services).

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Source: CRTC data collection

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Source: CRTC data collection

While the traditional television sector is experiencing decreases in revenues, its revenues of $6.9 billion still exceed the estimated revenues of Internet-based video services in Canada, which totaled $4.3 billion in 2018.

Audience measurement

Traditional television and Internet-based television

While the majority of Canadians have adopted Internet-based video services, traditional television viewing still far exceeds viewing of Internet-based television. In 2018, Canadians 18+ watched on average a total of 29.4 hours of television per week, with traditional television representing 89% of the viewing and Internet-based television only 11%.

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Source: Numeris, Media Technology Monitoring (respondents: Canadians 18+)

Note that 2014 data is unavailable for Internet-based television.

Although viewership for Internet-based video services is growing, the number of hours that Canadians 18+ spend watching traditional television is still more than eight times higher than the number of hours they spend watching Internet-based television.

Traditional television leads in audience share and in audience penetration. In any given week in 2018, 80% of Canadians 18+ watched traditional television on a regular set, while 54% watched video content on the Internet during the same period.

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Source: Media Technology Monitoring, Fall 2018 (respondents: Canadians aged 18+)

“Past month” refers to the 30 days prior to when the respondent is surveyed.

MTM refers to Internet TV as a full program or clips from TV programs watched with the use of a computer, smartphone, tablet, or internet connected TV.

Traditional television

In 2018, Canadians 2+ watched an average of 24.5 hours per weekFootnote 1 of traditional television, a decrease of 48 minutes per week compared to the 2017 levels. Breaking down the audience data by age group shows that Canadians 65+ watch the most television, averaging 42.2 hours per week, while children aged 2 to 11 watched on average 17.3 hours of television per week.

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Source: Numeris

From 2013-14 to 2017-18, average weekly hours of traditional television viewing decreased by 2.8% on average, annually. This decrease is more pronounced in the 12-17 age group, while the 65+ age group slightly increased its television viewing during the same period.

Language markets and program categories

In 2017-2018, 57.6% of the average weekly viewing hours of French-language content in the French‑language market went to Canadian programs, whereas 41.2% of the average weekly viewing hours of English- and third-language content went to Canadian programs in the English-language market.

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Source: Numeris (Canadians 2+). The above data is based on Canadian services with available data that incorporate country of origin and program genre.

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Source: Numeris (Canadians 2+). The above data is based on Canadian services with available data that incorporate country of origin and program genre.
Canadian programs

Viewing habits of Canadians have not changed much in the past year in regard to program categories for traditional television. This is true for both French- and English-language markets. “News,” the second most watched category of Canadian programs in the French-language market, is the leading category in the English-language market. In 2017-2018, Canadian programming in the “News” category garnered on average 26.5 million hours of viewing per week in the French-language market and 75.1 million hours of viewing per week in the English-language market.

Canadian and non-Canadian programs

Combining Canadian and non-Canadian programs, the “Drama and comedy” category is the most popular in both language markets, garnering 40% of the viewing in French and 38% in English, when considering average weekly viewing hours for Canadian television services. The second most watched category in the French-language market is “General entertainment and human interest/Reality,” with 20% of the viewing. The second most watched program category in the English-language market is “Sports,” with 18% of the viewing.

Figure 6.9 Average weekly viewing hours (million) for Canadian programs broadcast by Canadian television services, by language market, program origin and program category, 2018

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Source: Numeris (Canadians 2+)

The above data is based on Canadian services with available data that incorporate country of origin and program genre.

Programming expenditures

Canadian television services spent a total of $4.2 billion on programming expenditures in 2018 (a 2.7% increase from 2017), with the vast majority (69%) going towards CPE and the PNI subcategory.

For every dollar of revenue broadcasters earned in 2018, $0.34 was spent on Canadian programming (excluding PNI), $0.10 was spent on PNI and $0.20 was spent on non-Canadian programming. Therefore, excluding video-on-demand and pay-per-view services as well as other public and not-for-profit conventional television stations, broadcasters spent $0.64 on programming expenses for every dollar of revenue earned.

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Source: CRTC data collection

Programming expenditures of video-on-demand and pay-per-view services, as well as other public and not-for-profit conventional television stations, are excluded in this figure.

For the purposes of this report, PNI expenditures include expenditures in any of the following program categories:

  • Long-form documentary (category 2b);
  • Drama and comedy (category 7);
  • French-language music, dance and variety programming (categories 8 and 9); and
  • English-language award shows (subset of category 11).

Canadian programming expenditures

Television services spent over $3 billion on CPE in 2018. Discretionary services led with CPE totalling $1.7 billion or 56% of total CPE. Canadian contributions increased by 2.5% from 2017 to 2018 and by 0.2% per year in the past five years.

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Source: CRTC data collection

From 2014 to 2018, CPE grew with “Sports” having dethroned “News” in 2017 as the category that represents the biggest share of total CPE (33% of total CPE in 2018). Expenditures in the “Sports” category increased by 22% compared to 2014.

Even though CPE on “News” has declined of 9% compared to 2014, it experienced a positive 5% growth from 2017 to 2018.

Significant gains have been made in CPE in the “Drama and comedy” category (a 25% increase in 2018 compared to 2014). CPE in the “General entertainment, human interest and reality” (-0.9%), “Music, dance, and variety” (-2.3%) and “Long-form documentary” (-1.0%) categories did not fare as well, weathering overall yearly declines during the 2014 to 2018 period.

Canadian programming expenditures made by the discretionary service Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) which presents programming reflecting Indigenous peoples in Canadian society reached $24.5 million in 2018 (or 55% of the services’ revenues) and grew on average by 3.5% from 2014 to 2018.

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Source: CRTC data collection

News

For the first time in the past five years, CPE on news has experienced a positive growth (5% compared to 2017). Benefiting from the Independent Local News Fund and broadcasting distribution undertakings’ (BDU) new-found flexibility that allows them to devote part of their contributions to Canadian programming to the production of local news, commercial television stations have increased their news expenditures by over $10 million.

The fund, which was implemented in the 2017-2018 broadcast year, is fuelled by contributions from all licenced BDUs and has replaced the Small Market Local Production Fund. Licensed terrestrial BDUs have the flexibility to devote part of their local expression contribution to the production of locally reflective news on local television stations, while direct-to-home (DTH) BDUs may devote part of their contributions to Canadian programming to the production of locally reflective news on local television stations.

Private commercial stations have contributed more than half of the CPE in the “News” program category. CBC/SRC conventional, discretionary services and private conventional Canadian news expenditures have increased compared to 2017. Discretionary services' spending on news has risen by 1.5% compared to 2017 and has grown by a 0.2% over the past five years. CBC/SRC news expenditures have increased by 18.1% compared to 2017, yet have declined, on average, by 12.7% over the past five years.

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Source: CRTC data collection

Programs of national interest

In 2018, expenditures on programs of national interest (PNI) totalled $666 million, a slight 0.7% decrease from 2017. Similar to 2017, the majority of the PNI went to the “Drama and comedy” category, followed by “Long‑form documentary.”

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Source: CRTC data collection

Programming expenditures of video-on-demand and pay-per-view services, as well as those of other public and not-for-profit conventional television stations, are excluded from these figures.

Sector composition

The television sector was composed of 76 ownership groups in 2018. The two largest broadcasters, BCE and Corus/Shaw, garnered half (50%) of the total television revenues as well as over 70% of the tuning in the English-language market. The five largest broadcasters generated over 89% of total revenues and reported 91% of the CPE and garnered over 89% of the tuning in the English-language market.

Infographic 6.2 Television ownership market composition
Infographic 6.2   Television ownership market composition
Long description
BCE Corus/Shaw CBC/SRC Rogers Quebecor Groupe V Media Total
Television revenues $2,212 M $1,238 M $1,220 M $1,032 M $422 M $66 M $6,190 M
Share of total television revenues 32% 18% 18% 15% 6% 1% 90%
CPE $849 M $361 M $693 M $524 M $256 M $31 M $2,715 M
News $249 M $136 M $207 M $31 M $49 M $3 M $674 M
PNI $152 M $101 M $256 M $14 M $58 M $5 M $595 M
Tuning share in the French-language market 15.7% 10.2% 19.3% - 38.4% 8.2% 91.8%
Tuning share in the English-language market 38.0% 34.9% 8.0% 10.5% - - 91.4%
Source: Public disclosure of aggregate annual returns for large ownership groups, individual discretionary and on-demand statistical and financial summaries, Numeris

CBC/SRC revenues include parliamentary appropriations for conventional television.

CPE includes spending from private conventional, discretionary and on-demand services. News and PNI categories represent expenditures on Canadian programming and do not include on-demand services expenditures.

Viewing shares attributed to each entity are based on viewing to Canadian commercial television, as displayed in Table 6.4 set out in the Appendix to this report.

Data for Groupe V Media does not include News and PNI contributions from discretionary services as details are not publicly available.

BCE leads in terms of revenues and spends the most in CPE with $849 million, followed by CBC/SRC ($693 million) and Rogers ($524 million).

Tangible benefits

Tangible benefits are another means by which the CRTC ensures that a diversity of voices and interests are represented in the Canadian broadcasting system. These benefits represent a proportion of the value of a transaction to transfer the ownership or change the effective control of a television service, usually paid over the course of a licence term. In 2018, two ownership transactions, with a combined value of $15.5 million, generated $1.5 million dollars for the English-language market.

Table 6.1 Value of television ownership transactions and corresponding tangible benefits from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018
Language Metric 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
French-language services Transactions 1 0 0 0 0 1
Value ($M) 22.9 0 0 0 0 22.9
Benefits ($M) 2.3 0 0 0 0 2.3
English-language services Transactions 2 0 2 1 2 7
Value ($M) 174.3 0 5.7 1.5 15.5 197
Benefits ($M) 17.4 0 1 0.1 1.5 20
Total Transactions 3 0 2 1 2 8
Value ($M) 197.2 0 5.7 1.5 15.5 219.9
Benefits ($M) 19.7 0 1 0.1 1.5 22.3
Source: CRTC internal database

The Stingray/Newcap ownership transaction, which occurred in 2018 (see Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2018-404), resulted in $31 million in tangible benefits. Of this amount, $859,277 was committed to television.

In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-465, the Commission approved the divestiture of the remaining two services (MusiquePlus and MusiMax) to Groupe V Média Inc. (Groupe V). Groupe V has committed approximately $2.3 million in tangible benefits to French-language initiatives.

In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-388, the Commission approved the divestiture of three of the remaining five services (Disney Junior, Disney XD and Family Channel) to DHX Media Ltd. (DHX). DHX has committed approximately $17.3 million in tangible benefits to English-language initiatives.

ii. Conventional television stations

Infographic 6.3 Overview of conventional television stations
Infographic 6.3   Overview of conventional television stations
Long description
Private conventional television stations CBC/SRC conventional television stations
Number of reporting stations 94 27
Revenues $1.5 B $1,063 M
Independent Local Programming Fund $21.7 M  
2017-2018 revenue growth -4.2% 12.6%
CPE $655 M (42.5% of revenues) $580 M (54.6% of revenues)
PNI $91 M (5.9% of revenues) $241 M (22.7% of revenues)
Canadian News $377 M (24.5% of revenues) $121 M (11.4% of revenues)
Profit before interest and tax (PBIT)/Operating Margin -8.8% PBIT 11% Operating Margin
Average weekly viewing hours in the Quebec French-language market 65.5 M 28.8 M
Average weekly viewing hours in Canada (excluding the Quebec French-language market) 152.1 M 32.9 M
Source: CRTC data collection, Numeris

In 2018, the combined revenues of private and CBC/SRC conventional television stations totalled $2.6 billion. These segments continue on a slow revenue decline averaging a 4.5% decrease per year from 2014, when they totalled $3.1 billion.

Average viewing hours for conventional television stations totalled 279 million hours per week for the 2018 broadcast year, a 3.3% decrease from the 2017 level of 288.3 million hours per week.

In 2018, when Canadians were asked by Media Technology Monitoring (MTM) what type of television service they watched, 7% of Canadians replied watching conventional stations over-the-air, consistent with 2017 and 2016, which were both 1% higher than in 2015.

The majority of the decrease private conventional television stations’ revenues was observed in the advertising revenues which represent the vast majority of their revenues. For CBC/SRC television stations, the increase is mainly attributable to increases in national advertising revenues due to the broadcast of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

As previously stated, advertising constitutes the vast majority (85%) of the revenues of private conventional television stations and represents 23% of revenues derived from CBC/SRC conventional stations. Parliamentary appropriations represented 70% of the revenues of CBC/SRC conventional television stations in 2018. In the past five years, parliamentary appropriations have increased on average by 0.5% per year while advertising revenues decreased on average by 15.7% per year.

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Source: CRTC data collection

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Source: CRTC data collection

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Source: CRTC data collection

“Network payments” includes net payments made to the affiliates as a reduction of the revenue. For the affiliates it should include their share of the network net payments, or the reverse as the case may be.

“Infomercials” is programming exceeding 12 minutes in length that combines entertainment or information with the sale or promotion of goods or services into a virtually indistinguishable whole.

“Syndicated production” is the revenue perceived by the sale or airing permission of a program produced by a network to another network.

“Independent Local News Fund” is made up of contributions by BDUs aimed at helping independent local television stations.

“Local time sales” are revenues from the sale of air time by local sales representative, net of advertising agency commissions and trade discounts;

“National time sales” are revenues for national advertising, net of any advertising agency commissions and trade discounts.

“Other” includes broadcast-related revenue received from the use of talent services and technical facilities.

“Local Programming Improvement fund” was established to support local programming by conventional television stations with the help of broadcasting distribution undertakings contributions. The fund was discontinued in 2014.

“Parliamentary appropriations” is government funding for operating and working capital expenditures.

Private conventional television market composition

In 2018, the two largest broadcasters, BCE and Corus, garnered 62% of the total private conventional television revenues and reported 64% of the CPE for conventional television stations with 46 of the 94 stations.

The two largest French-language broadcasters combined reported 16% of the conventional television revenues with 11 television stations and accounted for 20% of the CPE for conventional television stations.

Combined, the five largest conventional television broadcasters represented 69 stations and reported 91% of the revenues in 2018.

Infographic 6.4 Private conventional television stations of large ownership groups
Infographic 6.4 Private conventional television stations of large  ownership groups
Long description
BCE Corus/Shaw Quebecor Rogers Groupe V Media Total
Number of stations 31 15 6 12 5 69
Conventional television revenues $623 M $338 M $205 M $201 M $43 M $1,410 M
Share of private conventional television revenues 40% 22% 13% 13% 3% 91%
CPE $243 M $174 M $110 M $62 M $23 M $612 M
News $166 M $134 M $22 M $23 M $3 M $347 M
PNI $17 M $12 M $48 M $7M $5 M $89 M
Tuning share in the French-language market 0.9% 0.6% 24.5% - 6% 32%
Tuning share in the English-language market 14.7% 9.2% - 3.8% - 27.7%
Source: Public disclosure of aggregate annual returns for large ownership groups, Numeris

CPE includes spending from private conventional, discretionary and on-demand services. News and PNI categories represent expenditures on Canadian programming and do not include on-demand services expenditures.

Viewing shares attributed to each entity are based on viewing to Canadian commercial television, as displayed in Table 6.4 set out in the Appendix to this report.

iii. Discretionary and on-demand services

Infographic 6.5 Overview of discretionary and on-demand services
Infographic 6.5   Overview of discretionary and on-demand services
Long description
2018 Discretionary servicesFootnote 2 French-language English-language Third-language
Number of reporting services 33 127 110
Revenues $732 M $3.2 B $92 M
Average revenue per station $22 M $25 M $0.8 M
2017-2018 revenue growth -4.5% -1.7% 23.3%
CPE $444 M (60.6% of revenues) $1.2 B (38.4% of revenues) $38 M (40.8% of revenues)
News $75 M (10.3% of revenues) $151 M (4.8% of revenues) $13 M (14.1% of revenues)
PNI $90 M (12.3% of revenues) $234 M (7.4% of revenues) $11 M (11.9% of revenues)
PBIT 10.0% 27.0% 11.5%
Average weekly viewing hours in Canada (excluding the Quebec French-language market) 1.2 M 320.6 M 3.0 M
Average weekly viewing hours in the Quebec French-language market 91.6 M 7.0 M 0.4 M
On-demand services
2018 on-demand services Pay-per-view services Video-on-demand services Total
Number of reporting services 7 14 21
Revenues $70.8 M $200.2 M $271.0 M
2017-2018 revenue growth -28.7% -8.0% -14.5%
CPE $5.2 M (7.3% of revenues) $14.3 M (7.1% of revenues) $19.5 M (7.2% of revenues)
PBIT 19.8% 11.1% 13.4%
Source: CRTC data collection, Numeris (Average weekly viewing hours of discretionary services do not include on-demand services average viewing hours)

Pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-86, the term “discretionary service” now encompasses all currently licensed pay, specialty and discretionary services. On-demand services include pay-per-view and video-on-demand services. In 2018, discretionary and on-demand services exhibited a negative revenue growth (-2.7%) compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, these services remain profitable ventures with a combined revenue of $4.2 billion and a PBIT margin of 22.9% in 2018.

Discretionary services revenues totalled $4 billion in 2018. While their growth compared to the previous year was negative in 2017 (-1.3%) and 2018 (-1.8%), their five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was still positive (0.6%) and they maintained a very positive profitability margin of 23.5% (in 2018). Examples of discretionary services include Food Network, Sportsnet 360 and Canal D.

Although representing only 2% of total discretionary services revenues, third-language services’ revenues have seen the most notable growth compared to their French- and English-language counterparts. From 2014 to 2018, third-language discretionary services had an annual growth rate of 3.4% per year, including 23.3% from 2017 to 2018.

With revenues of $200 million in 2018, video-on-demand services are also in a declining trend. Revenues have decreased at an average rate of 6.7% per year in each of the past five years. There are 14 video-on-demand services, which include, among others, Bell TV On Demand and Illico sur demande.

Pay-per-view services accounted for the smallest revenues in this category ($71 million in 2018). Many of the seven services saw their past year's growth in subscriber revenues dwindle. Notwithstanding the two past years’ financial performances (PBIT of 19.6% in 2017 and 19.8% in 2018), this market segment is trending towards a decline in revenues (-8.6% per year for the past five years). Examples of services include Shaw Pay-Per-View and Canal Indigo.

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Source: CRTC data collection

In 2018, subscriber revenues represented 68% of revenues, while advertising revenues represented 30%. These ratios were similar to those found in 2014. Subscriber revenue is comprised of terrestrial subscribers (53% of total revenues in 2018) and DTH subscribers (15% of total revenues). Advertising revenues are split between national ads (29% of total revenues in 2018) and local ads (1% of total revenues in 2018).

Between 2014 and 2018, viewership for discretionary services declined by -3.0% per year on average, including a sharp decline in the last year (-4.6%).

Over the past five years, both subscriber and advertising revenue growth has been limited (-0.2% per year for subscribers and 0.3% per year for advertising). When compared to the previous year, subscriber and advertising revenue growth is negative (-1.9% for subscriber revenue and -4.5% for advertising revenue).

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Source: CRTC data collection

Discretionary and on-demand service market composition

In 2018, the two largest broadcasters, BCE and Corus, garnered 59% of the total discretionary service revenues and reported 47% of the CPE of these services, as well as garnering 49% of the tuning in the English-language market.

While Rogers came in third place in terms of discretionary service revenues with $787 million in 2018, it reported $455 million in CPE, placing it in second place, behind BCE, which reported $604 million in CPE and $1,519 million in revenues.

Infographic 6.6 Discretionary services of large ownership groups and the CBC/SRC
Infographic 6.6 Discretionary services of large ownership groups and the CBC/SRC
Long description
BCE Corus/Shaw Rogers CBC/SRC Quebecor Groupe V Media Total
Number of discretionary services 32 44 9 5 7 2 99
Revenues $1,519 M $837 M $787 M $157 M $176 M $23 M $3,500 M
Share of the revenues of discretionary services 38% 21% 20% 4% 4% 0.6% 87.6%
CPE $604 M $186 M $455 M $113 M $143 M $8 M $1,509 M
News $83 M $2 M $8 M $86 M $27 M - $206 M
PNI $135 M $89 M $7 M $15 M $10 M - $281 M
Tuning share in the French-language market 14.7% 9.6% - 4.8% 13.9% 2.1% 45.1%
Tuning share in the English-language market 23.3% 25.7% 6.7% 1.7% - - 57.4%
Source: Public disclosure of aggregate annual returns for large ownership groups, individual discretionary and on-demand statistical and financial summaries, Numeris

CPE includes spending from private conventional, discretionary and on-demand services. News and PNI categories represent expenditures on Canadian programming and do not include on-demand services expenditures.

Viewing shares attributed to each entity are based on viewing to Canadian commercial television, as displayed in Table 6.4 set out in the Appendix to this report.

Individual discretionary and on-demand statistical financial summaries do not include CPE breakdown. Therefore, News and PNI contributions for Groupe V Media are not disclosed.

In 2018, the four largest broadcasters garnered 80% of the total revenues for on-demand services and reported $13.3 million in CPE with 12 of the total 21 services.

Infographic 6.7 On-demand services of large ownership groups
Infographic 6.7 On-demand services of large ownership groups
Long description
BCE Corus/Shaw Rogers Quebecor
Number of on-demand services 5 3 2 2
Revenues $70.2 M $62.7 M $43.1 M $40.9 M
Share of the revenues of on-demand services 26% 23% 16% 15%
CPE $2.8 M - $7.3 M $3.2 M
Source: Public disclosure of aggregate annual returns for large ownership groups, individual discretionary and on-demand statistical and financial summaries

iv. Internet-based video services in Canada

Internet-based video services are a growing segment. In 2018, this market segment generated revenues totalling an estimated $4.3 billion in Canada. Internet-based video services represent approximately 63% of total television revenues, on par with discretionary and on-demand services.

Internet-based video services are segmented into three distinct main business models:

Subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) service refers to an Internet-based service model in which a client pays a subscription fee to gain access to a library of content. This category includes both the services where the content of the library is aired according to a linear schedule (e.g., Sportsnet Now) and those where a user chooses amid a catalogue of content that is available regardless of viewing time (e.g., Club illico, Crave and Netflix).

Transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) service refers to an Internet-based service model in which a client pays only for the specific content watched. The client usually does not pay to access the service itself. Examples of this type of service are iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV and the PlayStation Network.

Advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) service refers to an Internet-based service model in which a client typically has free access to content but is exposed to advertisements. YouTube is an example of this type of service.

Infographic 6.8 Overview of Internet-based video services
Infographic 6.8   Overview of Internet-based video services
Long description
SVOD AVOD TVOD Total
2018 Estimated revenues in Canada $2,523 M $1,310 M $494 M $4,328 B
2017-2018 growth 54.8% 41.0% 9.6% 43.8%
2014-2018 CAGR 41.4% 58.1% 9.8% 38.3%
Share (%) of estimated revenues of Internet-based video services 58% 30% 11% 100%
Source: Revenue estimates from Ovum

All data pertaining to Internet-based video services were acquired from a third party and should be regarded as estimates.

While the traditional television sector saw its revenues decline on average by 1.8% per year from 2014 to 2018, estimated revenues of Internet-based video services in Canada grew at an average rate of 38.3% per year during the same period.

SVOD services led Internet-based video services in terms of total revenues and growth. In 2018, SVOD services garnered 58% of the total estimated Internet-based revenues, totalling $2.5 billion, and grew on average by 41.4% per year from 2014 to 2018. AVOD and TVOD services came in second and third place, respectively, in terms of total estimated revenues and growth.

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Source: Revenue estimates from Ovum

Note: Revenues for 2014 AVOD do not include "out of stream revenues," which are present in subsequent years’ revenues.

Similar to the traditional broadcasting system, the Internet-based video services are led by a few services generating the majority of the revenues. In 2018, the top three services, Netflix, Facebook and iTunes, generated an estimated $2.3 billion in revenues or 54% of the total revenues of Internet-based video services. Interestingly, they each represent a different type of service.

In 2018, Netflix represented the largest portion (65%) of SVOD revenues, followed by Amazon Prime Video (8%), while iTunes represented 67% of the TVOD revenues and Facebook was estimated to garner 23% of the AVOD revenues.

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Source: Revenue estimates from Ovum

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Source: Revenue estimates from Ovum

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Source: Revenue estimates from Ovum

Mobile platforms are generating an increasing portion of revenues for AVOD services. As mobile usage grows, so do the AVOD revenues generated from mobile platforms. According to estimates, AVOD services generated 59% of their revenues from mobile platforms in 2018, up from 47% in 2016.

Laptop and desktop video advertising revenues ($377 million) represented 71% of non-mobile platform revenues, while connected TV advertisement revenues were estimated at 158 million, 29% of non‑mobile revenues.

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Source: Revenue estimates from Ovum

v. Availability of television and video services

The following is a list of television and video services available to Canadians. The list includes Canadian conventional, discretionary and other services as well as non-Canadian services authorized for distribution in the country.

In 2018, a total of 767 services were authorized to broadcast in Canada, an increase of 17 services compared to 2017, mainly due to the availability of new non-Canadian services. Discretionary and on-demand services accounted for 39% of television services, while conventional and other services represented 19%.

Table 6.2 Type and number of television and video services authorized to broadcast in Canada, by language of broadcast, 2017 and 2018
Category Subcategory French-language English-language Third-language All languages
2017 2018 2017 2018 2017 2018 2017 2018
Canadian conventional television stations CBC/SRC (owned and operated) 13 13 14 14 0 0 27 27
Private commercial 20 20 67 68 6 6 93 94
Religious included in private commercial 0 0 5 6 0 0 5 6
Other religious 0 0 2 1 0 0 2 1
Educational 3 3 4 3 0 0 7 6
Canadian discretionary services Discretionary services 31 33 131 127 110 110 272 270
PPV services (Direct-to-home and terrestrial) 0 0 7 7 0 0 7 7
VOD services 1 1 14 14 0 0 15 15
Other Canadian services Community services 4 3 12 12 0 0 16 15
House of Commons (CPAC) 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 2
Non-Canadian services Authorized for distribution in Canada 30 32 111 121 162 172 303 325
Total Total 103 106 363 368 278 288 744 762
Source: CRTC internal database

This table shows the type and number of television services that are authorized to broadcast in Canada. Types include conventional television services; various discretionary and on-demand services (i.e., discretionary, pay-per-view and video-on-demand); community services and the House of Commons (CPAC) service; and non-Canadian programming services authorized for distribution.

Radiocommunication distribution undertakings (RDUs), rebroadcasters, exempt television services, discretionary services for which the broadcast authority has expired and some network licences are not included.

Private commercial does not include private commercial religious stations. Conventional community and other Canadian community services have been broken down. Video-on-demand services include services that have been approved but are not necessarily in operation. Carriage of authorized non-Canadian services is at the discretion of the BDU. Appendix 2 to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2019-2 sets out a complete list of non-Canadian programming services approved as of 20 December 2018. English-language services include those considered bilingual (English/French and English/Indigenous languages). Other Canadian services exclude community channels reported by BDU licensees.

Number of Canadian public, community and educational services and private conventional television stations authorized to broadcast, by province and language of broadcast, 2018

Table 6.3 Number of Canadian public, community and educational services and private conventional television stations authorized to broadcast, by province and language of broadcast, 2018
Province/territory French-language English-language Third-language Total
Public, community and educational Private
conv.
Public, community and educational Private
conv.
Public, community and educational Private
conv.
Public, community and educational Private
conv.
British Columbia 1 0 7 11 0 1 8 12
Alberta 1 0 3 15 0 2 4 17
Saskatchewan 1 0 2 6 0 0 3 6
Manitoba 1 0 3 4 0 0 4 4
Ontario 3 0 5 21 0 2 8 23
Quebec 11 20 1 3 0 1 12 24
New Brunswick 1 0 2 3 0 0 3 3
Nova Scotia N/A 0 3 4 0 0 3 4
Prince Edward Island N/A 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Newfoundland and Labrador N/A 0 1 1 0 0 1 1
The North N/A 0 2 0 0 0 2 0
Canada 19 20 30 68 0 6 49 94
Source: CRTC internal database

Nationally, Canadians have access to 94 private conventional television stations and 49 public, community and educational television services. Quebec leads all provinces in regard to public, community and educational stations (12). Ontario and Quebec lead in regard to private conventional television stations (23 and 24, respectively).

Public, community and educational television services include over-the-air CBC/SRC, non-commercial religious, educational, and community television services.

Over-the-air television stations serving the OLM population in Canada

Canadians who are part of the official language minority (OLM) populationFootnote 3 can be found in all ten provinces and in the main urban centres of the northern territories. Over 2.1 million Canadians are considered to be part of this population group, of which over half (52%) is located in Quebec. While another 26% of OLM Canadians can be found in Ontario, the greatest concentration of the OLM population resides in New Brunswick, with over 31% of that province’s population considered a part of the OLM population.

Of the 143 over-the-air originating services operating in Canada, 11 are licensed to operate in French in provinces/territories other than Quebec or in English in Quebec. When factoring rebroadcasting transmitters, the number of available transmitters increases to 375 and the transmitters serving the OLM population in Canada in their first official language spoken at home (hereafter, serving the OLM population) increases to 18.

CBC/SRC operates 8 originating stations, or 44% of all television stations and rebroadcasting transmitters serving the OLM population. CBC/SRC is the only broadcaster that operates an over-the-air television broadcasting source serving the OLM population in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. While CBC/SRC and private commercial services both serve the OLM population in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, the remaining Atlantic Provinces do not have a source for over-the-air television that serves their OLM population.

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Source: CRTC Internal database

Private commercial stations serving the OLM population (10 services) are found exclusively in Quebec (5) and New Brunswick (5). All of the transmitters operating in Quebec are based in the urban centres of Montréal, Québec and Sherbrooke, whereas those operating in New Brunswick are found in the northwestern part of the province (Edmundston, Saint-Quentin, Kedgwick), with the exception of the transmitter for Tracadie, located in the northeastern part of the province.

Although 3% of the population of the Northern Territories are considered to be part of the OLM population, there were no over-the-air French-language television services at the time of the compilation of this report.

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Source: CRTC Internal database, Statistics Canada

Figure 6.25 illustrates the presence of television transmitters serving the OLM population as a percentage of the total number of available television transmitters in each province and territory, along with the OLM population in each province and territory as a percentage of the total population, in 2018.

Across Canada, 6% of the population was considered to be part of the OLM population, whereas 5% of the country’s television stations and rebroadcasting transmitters served the OLM population. This does not imply that 5/6 of the OLM population has access to a television service in its first official language given that members of the population could reside outside the television service coverage areas.

For example, the province of Quebec has a disproportionately higher ratio of OLM population compared to the percentage of transmitters serving the OLM population. In New-Brunswick, the percentage of OLM population is similar to the percentage of television stations serving the OLM population. In the Territories and in the Atlantic Provinces, OLM populations are not served by over-the-air television transmitters. The Western Provinces’ over-the-air OLM television services are offered by a single broadcaster: the CBC/SRC.

The aforementioned services are available to Canadians via traditional over-the-air television broadcasting transmitters. Different types of television and video services, other than those mentioned, are also available to Canadians, notwithstanding their geographic location. These include services offered by cable, IPTV and DTH providers, network television, and Internet-based video services. Further, exempt services may offer services to the OLM population, possibly in their language of choice.

vi. Methodology

CRTC data collection

The CRTC collects its statistical and financial data from the annual returns provided by conventional television stations, discretionary services and on-demand services for the broadcast year, which ended 31 August 2018.

CBC/SRC revenues include parliamentary appropriations for conventional television.

Annual returns for the broadcast year that ended 31 August 2018 were required to be filed with the Commission by 30 November 2018. Data received subsequent to the compilation date is not reflected in this publication. The data reported for previous years has been updated to reflect any additional or adjusted information received by the Commission after the 31 August date for previous years' publications.

Pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-86, the term “discretionary service” now encompasses all currently licensed pay, specialty and discretionary services, while the term “on-demand service” now encompasses all licensed pay-per-view and video-on-demand services.

Media Technology Monitoring (MTM)

MTM measures Canadians’ media technology adoption and use at two points in time to monitor changes in media penetration and use over the year. Telephone interviews are conducted with a regionally representative sample of Canadians who have a landline telephone service and those who rely solely on cell phone service. The fall survey includes 8,000 Canadian adults (4,000 Anglophones and 4,000 Francophones). Of those 8,000 respondents, 2,976 have also completed an online survey introduced in the fall. An independent sample of 4,000 Canadians (2,000 Anglophones and 2,000 Francophones) is surveyed in the spring.

www.mtm-otm.ca

The CMR uses data collected from the fall survey unless stated otherwise.

Ovum

Internet-based video services

Internet-based video services are defined as a media service offered over the internet to Canadians by Canadian and non-Canadian providers, directly to viewers, which provides access to programming that is independent of a facility or network dedicated to its delivery. In this report, we present revenue estimates provided by Ovum, segmented in three types of services, SVOD, TVOD and AVOD services.

SVOD services

Subscription-based services revenues are estimated based on publicly available data on the number of subscribers and services rates/pricing such as company annual reports and news articles. These are then used to estimate an average monthly subscription revenue per subscriber considering all available service plans from a given provider and distributed among the estimated number of subscribers. The estimated average monthly subscription revenue per subscriber is then multiplied by the subscriber estimate.

TVOD services

Transactional services (TVOD) revenues are estimated based on publicly available data such as company annual reports in addition to the country’s other media revenues such as home video and pay TV revenues. These estimates are further refined using data about online video subscriptions in the market as a benchmark.

In some cases where information is unavailable, Ovum based its revenue estimations on the service provider’s market shares and revenues in a country similar to the one subject to analysis.

AVOD services

Advertising-based services’ revenues are estimated using publicly available and, where necessary, quantitatively modelled data (informed by analyst knowledge and assumptions) about advertising load, pricing and market share. These are then applied to video traffic and digital advertising forecast models to derive revenue estimates. These estimates are further refined based on each entity’s performance in other video segments.

AVOD revenue is defined here as revenue generated through the sale of in-stream video advertising (i.e., pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll and in-player overlays) and out-of-stream video advertising (i.e., video ads that play independently of video content, such as in-read and in-feed social video ad formats), delivered over the internet. This revenue is sourced from advertiser spending.

Numeris

Audience measurement data is important not only to industry stakeholders, who use the data to help sell air time to advertisers, but also to the CRTC, which uses the data to assess the effectiveness of its policies by understanding the reach of programming across the country and across various demographics.

Unless otherwise specified, audience measurement data sourced from Numeris was collected by portable people meter (PPM) devices.

The Numeris data presented by linguistic market divides Canada into two sections: (1) all of Canada, excluding Francophone respondents in Quebec; and (2) exclusively Francophone respondents in Quebec.

The television seasons used by Numeris were the following:

  • 26 August 2013 to 31 August 2014, includes all persons 2+, Monday to Sunday, 2 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • 1 September 2014 to 30 August 2015, includes all persons 2+, Monday to Sunday, 2 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • 31 August 2015 to 28 August 2016, includes all persons 2+, Monday to Sunday, 2 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • 29 August 2016 to 27 August 2017, includes all persons 2+, Monday to Sunday, 2 a.m. to 2.a.m.
  • 28 August 2017 to 26 August 2018, includes all persons 2+, Monday to Sunday, 2 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Table 6.4 Total viewing hours (millions) by market
Canada (excluding the Quebec Francophone market) Quebec Francophone market
2015-2016 Conventional 216 111
2015-2016 Discretionary 363.1 109
2015-2016 Total 579.1 219.9
2016-2017 Conventional 198 106.5
2016-2017 Discretionary 336.7 105.3
2016-2017 Total 534.7 211.9
2017-2018 Conventional 192.7 101.7
2017-2018 Discretionary 323.4 98.8
2017-2018 Total 516.1 200.5
Source: Numeris

This table presents total viewing hours per market. Total viewing was based on viewing for all Canadian conventional stations (including ethnic stations) and Canadian discretionary services, excluding on-demand (pay-per-view and video-on-demand services).

Official language minority population

For the purposes of this report, the official language population (OLM) population is data used and defined from the 2016 Census as: “The official language minority population of Quebec includes all individuals with English as a first official language spoken and half of those with both English and French. The official language minority population of the country overall and of every province and territory other than Quebec includes individuals with French as a first official language spoken and half of those with both English and French.”

Transmitters serving an OLM population

A television transmitter serving an OLM population is defined as an over-the-air television transmitter (stations and rebroadcasting transmitters), licensed to operate in French in provinces/territories other than Quebec or in English in Quebec.

Definitions

Advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) service refers to an Internet-based service model in which a client typically has free access to content but is exposed to advertisements. YouTube is an example of this type of service. All data pertaining to Internet-based video services were acquired from a third party and should be regarded as estimates.

Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) refers to expenditures used to create Canadian programming.
The term discretionary services encompasses all currently licensed pay, specialty and discretionary services, pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-86.

The term on-demand services encompasses all licensed pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, pursuant to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-86.

Program of national interest (PNI) are programs including drama and comedy, long-form documentary, and specific Canadian award shows that celebrate Canadian creative talent. For French-language broadcasters, PNI also include music video and variety programs:

  • Long-form documentary (category 2b);
  • Drama and comedy (category 7);
  • French-language music, dance and variety programming (categories 8 and 9); and
  • English-language award shows (subset of category 11).

Subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) service refers to an Internet-based service model in which a client pays a subscription fee to gain access to a library of content. This category includes both the services where the content of the library is aired according to a linear schedule (e.g., Sportsnet Now) and those where a user chooses amid a catalogue of content that is available regardless of viewing time (e.g., Club illico, Crave and Netflix). All data pertaining to Internet-based video services were acquired from a third party and should be regarded as estimates.

Transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) service refers to an Internet-based service model in which a client pays only for the specific content watched. The client usually does not pay to access the service itself. Examples of this type of service are iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV and the PlayStation Network. All data pertaining to Internet-based video services were acquired from a third party and should be regarded as estimates.

Contents of the Report

  1. Communications Services in Canadian Households: Subscriptions and Expenditures 2013-2017
  2. 2018 Communications Services Pricing in Canada
  3. Broadcasting Overview
  4. Radio Sector
  5. Television Sector
  6. Broadcasting Distribution Sector

Go directly to:

Data from this report and additional data is available on Open Data in .xlsx and .csv:
Report Section Open Data
Communications Services in Canadian Households: Subscriptions and Expenditures 2013-2017 Households data
2018 Communications Services Pricing in Canada Pricing data
Broadcasting Overview Broadcasting Overview data
Radio Sector Radio data
Television Sector Television data
Broadcasting Distribution Sector BDU data
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