Canada's TV broadcasters see revenue shrink; CBC hit by loss of NHL rights

OTTAWA – Canada’s private-sector television broadcasters saw their industry’s revenue shrink by $46.6 million and pre-tax losses increase slightly between 2014 and 2015, according to an annual report by their federal regulator.

The CRTC says 93 private-sector TV stations generated $1.76 billion of revenue in the 12 months ended Aug. 31, 2015 — down 2.6 per cent from the previous broadcast year.

The bulk of the industry’s revenue came from national advertising sales, which generated about $1.2 billion — unchanged from the previous year.

Local advertising fell one per cent to $330.1 million from $333.6 million in the 2014 financial year.

Despite the reduction in revenue, the CRTC says private-sector TV broadcasters increased investment in Canadian programming to $652.8 million, up $33.5 million from 2014.

The agency requires TV broadcasters to spend a percentage of revenue on content made by Canadians.

At the CBC, advertising revenue fell to $220.1 million from $474.6 million — mainly because of an absence of major sporting events and the loss of NHL television rights starting with the 2014-15 hockey season.

CBC also received $757.9 million from the government, up $32 million, for its 27 TV stations.

CBC’s program spending totalled $687.3 million, including $557.2 million for Canadian programming.