CRTC reveals 2017 TV channel financial data

The CRTC released their financial report for Canadian broadcasting in 2017. Tracked between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017, total broadcasting revenue dropped 3.3% year-over-year. The total number of TV (cable/IPTV/satelite) subscribers in the country declined 1.9% from the year before.

Do note that the CRTC has changed the way they’ve distributed information on individual channels. Rather than separate pages for each service hosted on their website, they’ve instead dumped all of it in a large PDF file on Open Canada. View the blog’s coverage on last year’s results here.

Rogers Media


We’ll start off with a look at two departed Rogers Media channels. A little over a year ago, Rogers announced that it was finally pulling the plug on G4. The channel had long been abandoned and served as little more than a dump. In its final broadcast year, G4 brought in $1.2 million in revenue (nearly 75% of which came from subscriptions), managing a $24,593 profit through cutbacks on administrative fees. The channel ultimately ended up keeping 69,000 subscribers until its closure.

Then there’s the failure of Viceland. After just two years, Rogers ended support for their $100 million venture with Vice Canada at the end of March. In its only full broadcast year, Viceland was unprofitable. A 63% increase in advertising revenue (to just $1.2 million) wasn’t nearly enough to offset the channel’s $13.6 million in costs (the majority of which was directed to programming). Rogers lost $7.8 million on Viceland in 2017, from a $2.4 million loss the year prior. While the channel grew 34% in subscribers to just over 2 million, subscriber revenue posted single-digit declines, suggesting that increase may have been through Rogers being aggressive with distribution rather than people seeking the channel out.

Elsewhere in Rogers land, FX continues to grow, posting a channel best $20 million in revenue for the 2017 broadcast year. That’s despite a 12% decline in subscribers. Similar story for FXX Canada, which drew $8 million in revenue in spite of a 4% drop in subscribers.

DHX Television


Family Channel saw revenues dip 14% year-over-year to $48 million. That decline is attributed to subscriber revenue, which fell to $38 million, from $47 million in broadcast year 2016. The channel shed just under 5% of its total subscribers, to sit at 4.5 million. Due to the decline in subscriber revenue and higher programming costs, the channel’s profit fell $16.2 million from $22.3 million the year prior.

Family Chrgd and Télémagino continue to be exempt from providing full financial details to the CRTC. From the data shared, Chrgd saw revenues grow 5% from the year before to $6.4 million. Programming expenses grew 2% to $1.6 million. For the French children’s channel (it’s hard to say something airing Johnny Test and Trollhunters is really a toddler’s channel), revenue dropped 8% to $3.3 million while programming expenses grew 28%, though that just represents a bit over $500k in total.

Corus Entertainment


Canada’s largest children’s broadcaster YTV continues to feel the heat. Overall channel revenue fell 9% year-over-year to $61.1 million, largely thanks to a 15% drop in advertising revenue. Total subscribers slumped 6% to 7.7 million. The decline in revenue hit the bottom line, as YTV’s pre-tax profit was $12.1 million versus $18.7 million in 2016.

The Teletoon duo saw an 8% revenue decline in broadcast year 2017. Overall, the English and French language feeds posted a combined $53 million in revenue, with 10% declines in advertising and cable subscriber fees. The channel lost just under 10% of its subscribers to 5.7 million. Overall, Teletoon posted a $5.6 million in profit, down from $17.4 million the year prior.

Toddler channel Treehouse posted a $277,179 loss on the year (vs. $3 million in profit in 2016) thanks to a 4% drop in revenue, a 6% rise in programming fees and a 58% growth in backend tech. The channel posted $12.9 million in revenue and shed 6% of its subscriber base to now be at 5.8 million.

On the American-branded channel front, it appears that Cartoon Network Canada remains unprofitable for Corus. The channel’s revenue remained more or less flat at $5.3 million, but a 17% drop in programming costs is still $8.8 million. Nickelodeon is just a bit better. The channel posted a small decline in revenue to $4.7 million and a negligible rise in costs to $5.1 million. Neither channel is large enough that the CRTC requires a full breakdown.

Due to being a rebrand of Télétoon Rétro and the others being new licenses, the only Disney channel required to share its info was La chaîne Disney. The Quebec net grew revenues 24% year-over-year to $2.4 million, though programming expenses also grew 17% to $2 million.

Others


Thanks to cost cutting on programming, Allarco’s Super Channel posted a profit. $771, 995 isn’t a tonne, but is still a better result than 2016’s, where the company lost $11 million. Subscribers grew 65% to 559,121. I’m guessing that was at a discounted, as subscriber revenue declined year-on-year. Super Channel saw a 7% drop in revenue to $28.1 million on the year.

I’ve already covered Comedy Gold’s financials in the CRTC approval post, but feel free to look at Bell’s other channels. Ask yourself if it’s really a smart idea to toss healthy brands for CTV [insert genre here] monikers.

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