Earnings drop for private TV in 2004 - CRTC


OTTAWA-GATINEAU - The CRTC has released the financial results for conventional Canadian private television stations for 2000 to 2004. Overall, their revenues increased marginally between 2003 and 2004, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) declined.

Specifically, between 2003 and 2004, revenues rose from $2.087 to $2.105 billion, an increase of 1%. Local advertising sales reached $364.1 million, while national advertising brought in $1.447 billion. This translates into an increase of 6.1% for local advertising revenues, while revenues from national sales decreased by 1.5%. Over the 2000 to 2004 period, total revenues for private television rose by 12%, while total operating expenses grew by 15.5%.

Although 2004 revenues increased by 1% over 2003, EBIT declined by 22.7% as programming expenses and total operating expenses increased by 5.8% and 5% respectively. On average, over the last five years, EBIT decreased by 2.7% per year.

In 2004, nearly 8,000 people were employed in this industry, accounting for more than $553 million in salaries.

Spending on programming and production

Spending on Canadian programming increased 5.8% to $575.5 million in 2004. Included in this was spending on drama and comedy of some $86.5 million. While this $86.5 million represents a decrease of 13.1% or $13 million over 2003, it is 10.1% or $8 million higher than the equivalent expenditure figure in 2000, and represents an average annual increase of 2.4%. The decrease noted in 2004 is in part attributable to a decline in spending to acquire programming from independent producers, which went from $79.6 million in 2003 to $68.3 million in 2004. On average, however, since 2000, spending for independent produced programming has increased annually by 3.6%.

Broadcasters spent $81.4 million on Canadian human interest programs, including the "reality" genre, in 2004 compared with $51.7 million in 2003. Spending in this area increased by $29.7 million or 57.5% over 2003.

Broadcasters spent $18 million on musical and variety programs in 2004 for an increase of $7 million or 63.6%. Finally, spending on news programming increased by $10.8 million or 3.6% in 2004, reaching $310.9 million. Spending on other information programming climbed to $60.5 million, an increase of $4.8 million or 8.6% over 2003.


The data included in this report are drawn from the annual reports submitted to the Commission by the conventional private television licensees. They are part of a series of reports published each year by the Commission on the broadcasting industry. The Commission will shortly be releasing three other reports on the financial results of specialty, pay and pay-per-view
television services, radio, and broadcasting distribution undertakings.

Television, Statistical and Financial Summaries, 2000-2004 can be viewed at:

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