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Canada: Pay-TV subs decline, revenues steady

July 13, 2016

Figures released by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission covering statistical and financial information on cable, IPTV and satellite companies for the year ending on August 31st 2015 reveal a slight decline in revenues of C$11.8 million (€8.2m/0.1 per cent) to C$8.9 billion, while expenses increased by 1.3 per cent to C$7.2 billion. As a result, the operating margin decreased to its lowest level in five years, but remained healthy at 19 per cent. These companies employed 27,244 in 2015, down 6.3 per cent from 2014.

The overall number of subscribers decreased from 11.4 million in 2014 to 11.2 million in 2015, continuing a two-year trend. However, the average total revenue per subscriber increased from C$65.25 in 2014 to C$66.08 per month in 2015. IPTV companies continued to grow reporting double-digit increases in subscribers for 2015.

Spending by television service providers on the creation and production of Canadian-made content decreased by C$38.1 million in 2015 to C$436.9 million. Of this amount, C$219.6 million was directed to the Canada Media Fund, C$64.7 million to independent funds and C$152.6 million to community channels and other sources of local content.

Quick facts

  • In 2015, cable and IPTV companies reported revenues of C$6.6 billion from programming services. This total represents an increase of 1.7 per cent from C$6.5 billion in 2014.
  • Satellite companies’ revenues decreased by 5.2 per cent from C$2.4 billion in 2014 to C$2.3 billion in 2015.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a cable or IPTV company increased from 0.3 per cent to 8.9 million.
  • The number of Canadian households that subscribed to a satellite company’s television service decreased by 7.2 per cent from 2.6 million to 2.4 million.
  • The operating margin for cable and IPTV companies increased from 15.8 per cent in 2014 to 16.1 per cent in 2015. The operating margin for the satellite companies decreased from 32 per cent in 2014 to 27.7 per cent in 2015.
  • Operating expenses for the cable, IPTV and satellite companies increased by 1.3 per cent from C$7.1 billion to C$7.2 billion.
  • In 2015, cable and IPTV companies spent over C$2.6 billion on affiliation payments for the pay and specialty services they carry. This total represents a 5.7 per cent increase compared to the C$2.5 billion spent in 2014.
  • Satellite companies’ affiliation payments decreased by 2.9 per cent from C$809 million in 2014 to C$786 million in 2015.


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