Canadian Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Jun 30 14:15:34 UTC 2005

Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission

The CRTC releases its annual Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report

    OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released its sixth annual
Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report. This report assesses the impact of
its regulations, policies and decisions on the Canadian broadcasting
industry, in light of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act. Beginning
this year, publication has been moved up several months so that data
contained in the report will be available to the Canadian public and the
regulated industries on a more timely basis.
    The report deals with the radio, television, and broadcast
distribution sectors, as well as social issues and the Internet.


    -  Canadians have access to 1,158 radio services, of which 867 are in
       English, 253 are in French, and 38 are in third languages.
    -  In 2004, Canadians listened to radio an average of 19.5 hours per
       week, which represents the same number of hours as in 2003.
    -  Revenues for Canadian private radio stations exceeded $1.2 billion
       2004, and profits before interest and tax came in at $224 million.
    -  Since the adoption of the CRTC's commercial radio policy in 1998,
       Canadian radio stations have spent more than $156 million on
       talent development.


    -  Canadians have access to 511 English-language television services,
       115 French-language services, and 53 third-language services, for a
       total of 679 television services.
    -  The report reviews for the first time the viewing to Canadian
	programs over the entire broadcast year using metered data. According to
       metered data for the 2003-2004 broadcast year, dramas and comedies
       remain the most popular television programs, capturing 43% of all
       television viewing. According to the same source, English-language
       Canadian dramas and comedies broadcast by private conventional
       English-language Canadian stations capture 10% of the viewing to
       drama and comedy programs on those stations. In comparison,
       drama and comedy programs broadcast by the CBC account for 43% of
       viewing to the genre on CBC stations, and Canadian pay and
       services capture 30% of the viewing to the genre on those services.
       For Francophone services, Canadian drama and comedy programs
       by private conventional stations garner 23% of the viewing to the
       genre on those stations as compared to 66% for the SRC and 37% for
       Canadian specialty and pay services.
    -  Total 2004 revenues of English-language specialty, pay and
       pay-per-view services of nearly $1.7 billion equalled those of
       English-language private conventional stations for the first time.
       French-language private conventional stations had revenues of
       $422 million, while those for French-language pay, pay-per-view and
       specialty services totalled $363 million in 2004.
    -  In 2004, Canadians watched television for 25.8 hours every week on
       average, according to Nielsen Media Research, or for 21.4 hours
       according to BBM. For both, this represents a decrease of
       approximately 20 minutes from the preceding year.
    -  Audience share for Canadian stations compared with non-Canadian
       stations increased between 1993 and 2004. In Quebec, this audience
       share rose from 88.3% in 1993 to 90.1% in 2004, and in the other
       Canadian provinces, it went from 67.3% to 71.9%.
    -  Since the adoption of the CRTC's television policy in 1999,
       benefits to the Canadian broadcasting system flowing from
       ownership transfers have totalled $543.1 million.

    Broadcast distribution

    -  In Canada, there are currently 2,003 broadcast distribution
       undertakings (BDUs), of which 1,960 are cable companies, two are
       Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite distribution undertakings, 29 are
       multipoint distribution systems (MDS) and 12 are subscription
       television systems (STV).
    -  In 2004, class 1 cable accounted for 74.1% of basic service
       subscriptions, DTH for 25.5%, and MDS and STS combined for 0.4%.
    -  The number of digital service subscribers at the end of September
       totalled 4,450,600, an increase of 24% over the end of June 2003.
       that total, 46% subscribed to digital cable, and 52% to DTH
    -  Revenues for class 1 cable undertakings were $4.6 billion in 2004,
       compared with $4.2 billion the previous year. Combined revenues for
       DTH, MDS and STV totalled $1.4 billion in 2004, up from $1.2
       in 2003.
    -  BDUs contributed $152 million to the Canadian Television Fund and
       other independent production funds in 2004. Class 1 cable
       contributed an additional $74 million to the operation of community
       channels in 2004.


    -  In December 2004, 71% of Canadian households had a computer, 3 %
       than in 2003. As in 2003, 76% of Canadians had access to the
       at home, work or elsewhere.
    -  There was a marked increase in the subscription rate to high speed
       Internet, from 50% in March 2003 to 63% in December 2004.

    The Commission welcomes suggestions from interested parties for
improving future editions of its annual report. You may mail your comments
to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, K1A 0N2, or e-mail them to
info at

    The CRTC

    The CRTC is an independent, public authority which was established to
sustain and promote Canadian culture and achieve key social and economic
objectives by regulating and supervising Canadian broadcasting and
telecommunications in the public interest. As an expert tribunal it takes
into account the wants and needs of Canadian citizens, industries and
various interest groups. The CRTC is governed by the Broadcasting Act and
the Telecommunications Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister
of Canadian Heritage.

    Reference document: Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report 2005

For further information: Media Relations: MediaRelations at,
(819) 997-9403, Fax: (819) 997-4245; General Inquiries: (819) 997-0313,
TDD: (819) 994-0423, Fax: (819) 994-0218, Toll-free No. 1-877-249-CRTC
info at , TDD - Toll-free No. 1-877-909-2782


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