There was no recession for the Canadian television industry in 2010. The CRTC reported this month that revenues for pay and specialty services grew by 11.1% last year while revenues at private conventional television stations grew by 9%.

The federal regulator's report provides information on the sector’s profitability, revenues and expenditures for the period of September 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010.

Pay and specialty services

Revenues for Canadian pay and specialty services grew by 11.1 % from $3.11 billion in 2009 to approximately $3.46 billion in 2010. Expenses during the same period were 8.1% higher which resulted in profits increasing over 20% to $877.3 million in 2010 up from $2.31 billion to $2.49 billion.

Revenues at Pay and specialty stations are now almost 50% higher than revenues at conventional television. Just under two-thirds of revenues came from cable and satellite television subscriptions while about one third came from national and local advertising.

Private Conventional Television

Revenues for private conventional television grew by 9% from $1.97 billion in 2009 to approximately $2.15 billion in 2010. Expenses during the same period increased by 1.7% from $2.01 billion in 2009 to $2.05 billion in 2010.

As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) improved significantly from a deficit of $116.6 million in 2009 to a profit of $11.5 million in 2010. By comparison, private broadcasters reported profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) in 2007 and 2008 of $112.9 and $8 million respectively.

The bulk of conventional television revenues, approximately 90%, came from local and national advertising while $65 million came from the controversial Local Programming Improvement Fund which is in its first year.

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