Just days ahead of its major hearing on TV policy, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has released the broadcasting part of its annual Communications Monitoring Report, a document filled with statistics on funding, viewership, subscriptions and more.
Most of the data is unsurprising, or shows the predictable continuation of a gradual procession. Fewer people are analog cable subscribers. Conventional television still struggles to break even while specialty channels are raking in the dough. And AM radio is on the decline while FM continues to boom.
There are still a few interesting things I noted in the report though (in most cases, these figures are for the year ending Aug. 31, 2013):
- Five companies (Bell, Cogeco, Quebecor, Rogers, Shaw) get 85% of total Canadian broadcasting revenues. This includes radio, television and television distribution.
- “Netflix adoption among English speakers grew from 21% to 29%” — That’s in one year. In 2011, it was 10%. It’s true that for most subscribers, Netflix is something that complements their cable TV subscription instead of replacing it, but if the broadcasting industry isn’t already nervous about Netflix, it should be.
- The total TV viewing share 2012-13, in English Canada: Bell 38%, Shaw/Corus 37%, Rogers 9%, CBC 8%.
- Total TV viewing share in the Quebec francophone market: Quebecor 33%, Bell 23%, Radio-Canada/CBC 18%, Remstar (V) 9%.
- On Aug. 31, 2011, there were 657,300 IPTV (e.g. Bell Fibe/Telus Optik) subscribers in Canada. On Aug. 31, 2013, it was 1,385,100.
- The number of licensed third-language radio stations in Canada went from 32 in 2012 to 45 in 2013.
- Revenues for French-language AM radio stations in Canada dropped from $11.7 million in 2011 to $4.7 million in 2013. There are only eight AM commercial French-language radio stations in Canada. The dramatic drop in revenue coincides with Cogeco’s decision to change CKAC 730 AM in Montreal from all-sports to all-traffic in fall 2011.
- Since 2009, the CRTC has approved 132 new FM stations, and only three new AM stations.
- The number of Canadians subscribed to satellite radio has steadily climbed from 8% in 2008 to 15% in 2013.