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CCR Short Takes

News | 04/10/2006 4:00 am EDT

TV profits up, but Cancon lags foreign content: CRTC report
The CRTC released its annual report on the well-being of Canada’s private television broadcast industry late last month. In the document, titled Television Statistical and Financial Summaries 2001-2005, the commission noted an overall upward trend in revenue and profitability over the five-year period from 2001 to 2005; however, while total revenue increased 15% over that period, it actually dipped in 2002 compared to the preceding year. In 2005 alone, income from national advertising sales gained 5% – to total nearly $1.5 billion – at the expense of local time sales, which shrank by 1.1% to fall to less than $363 million. However, operating expenses increased by 4.3% year-over-year, hitting the $1.9-billion mark in 2005. Private broadcasters also spent slightly more than $587 million last year on Canadian programming of all types – news (by far the biggest single category), drama, music/variety, games shows, human interest, and other – including $138 million that went to independent producers. Total non-Canadian programming expenses that year, however, came in at nearly $612 million. That led the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) to decry the increased spending on imported programming. "Last year, we were shocked that so-called Canadian private broadcasters spent four times more on US programming than they did on original Canadian drama," said ACTRA national executive director Stephen Waddell in a media release. "Now, we’re appalled to learn that in 2005, they spent almost five times more. The system is clearly broken."

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