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BCE raised its quarterly dividend on the news to 71.75 cents per common share, up from its previous rate of 68.25 cents per quarter.
That works out to an increase of 3.5 cents, based on adding "315,311 net postpaid wireless subscribers in its last fiscal year."

It's good that that BCE is making money in other parts of their business, but Ad-supported Conventional Television is definitely a money-loser (source)

Profit before interest and taxes
2011 57 million (profit)
2012 -15 million (loss)
2013 3 million (profit)
2014 -38 million (loss)
2015 -23 million (loss)

Ad revenue has declined every single year since 2011, so unfortunately, the only way to deal with that is to control costs.

EDIT: I'm not a great fan of Bell, but we should at least look at all the facts.
 

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I guess they could control costs by paying less for the American content they simsub, but that's probably crazy talk. Or they could sell that part of the business and end vertical integration. More crazy talk.
 

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I don't understand why everyone gets upset when a company like Bell makes money - isn't that the point of a business?

None of us would start a business or go to work if the point was to break even or lose money.

A lot of companies in the world make a lot more profit then Bell does. For the revenue the company has, the profit % is small compared to a lot of other Canadian and International companies. As well, a lot of the company is invested in dated technology that isn't making the money it use to. Telephone landlines, long distance, radio, traditional television, print, retail stores (The Source) are all slowly not delivering what they use to. They are also heavily regulated, and those regulations currently provide some protection - but any government can change them and Bell will struggle.

I'm not a Bell fan - but they can do business how they see fit to make the profit they need to. It's comical what they are doing in Kitchener, London, and other conventional TV markets - but dollar for dollar, it must make sense for Bell to invest in other parts of the business before these stations.
 

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You know, if Bell just wanted to admit that, it'd probably be okay. Of course, they don't. They like to use those stations and cancon as a shield without investing in them more than they're forced to by the regulator.

If they can't run the stations properly and make money, they should sell them off. Keeping them around and letting them rot so they can be trotted out as a tool to ask for more subsidies or to decry the state of the market is a joke, when they put zero effort into making the stations competitive. Hell, this is the company that seems to think that "local news" in Western New Brunswick means "Halifax".

Canadians have been stuck with inferior quality, overpriced options in this space for far too long, and Bell is a pretty key player in that status quo.

As for simsubs... they don't add value. I can get those stations without Bell. Bell spending most of their TV budget on it in order to give me an inferior version of the same thing I already had access to is not benefiting me in any way, as a customer.
 

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If they can't run the stations properly and make money, they should sell them off.
Likely those stations would just die off.

See CJBN Kenora, CKNX Wingham, CHCA Red Deer, CKXT (SunTV) Toronto, CKX Brandon.
 

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I guess they could control costs by paying less for the American content they simsub, but that's probably crazy talk...
They have been paying less for American content (source):

2011 Programming Expenses (million)
Canadian $199
Non-Canadian $293

2015 Programming Expenses (million)
Canadian $231
Non-Canadian $265

Don't forget - it's the money they make from selling ads for the American content that pays for the Canadian content and the Canadian facilities.
 

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There are so many areas that are not served by local TV news (for example, I live in Niagara and we don't have any local TV news source - I miss living in London where I could watch an attempt at local news and see a bit of town on the news every evening).

It's a tricky situation in my opinion - do we throw tax dollars at private companies to provide news? Would it be biased? Should we throw more money to have a second voice in some communities? Or is local news dead - other then what our neighbours, relatives, and colleagues post on their social media accounts?

Should we hate companies like Bell that are trying to make a buck on potentially money losing operations, or give them money or further rights (what if the CRTC blocked U.S. channels on satellite/cable with a Canadian media friendly government so these channels could make decent news with all the profits from those shows?) to produce news from the profits? How much of the news would be biased? What would not get reported in our communities if local news dies?....I have a million thoughts, you could throw millions of dollars at, and still not have a truly informed public.

I don't know how outside of a major city, local news is going to make it - newspapers, radio, and TV news is dying everywhere - even some news sources in cities like Toronto struggle and die. It's a national issue - and I still have not heard one good solution for it.

I'd hate to see what the state of local news will be in 10, 25 and 50 years from now. All we will have is government and corporate propaganda, and "fake news" flooding our minds...
 

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Should we hate companies like Bell that are trying to make a buck on potentially money losing operations, or give them money or further rights (what if the CRTC blocked U.S. channels on satellite/cable with a Canadian media friendly government so these channels could make decent news with all the profits from those shows?) to produce news from the profits? How much of the news would be biased? What would not get reported in our communities if local news dies?....I have a million thoughts, you could throw millions of dollars at, and still not have a truly informed public.
They could already make news with the profit from the shows. More of the status quo isn't going to get it done.

I don't know how outside of a major city, local news is going to make it - newspapers, radio, and TV news is dying everywhere - even some news sources in cities like Toronto struggle and die. It's a national issue - and I still have not heard one good solution for it.

I'd hate to see what the state of local news will be in 10, 25 and 50 years from now. All we will have is government and corporate propaganda, and "fake news" flooding our minds...
Fundamentally, commercial news is a product. If people aren't willing to pay for it, then it doesn't have a future. The Internet culture of "everything should be free and adblocked" doesn't result in quality work being done. It results in clickbait crap and agenda driven fake news (along with the "I only want news sources that tell me what I want to hear" mentality that is increasingly prevalent). How do you solve that? Damned if I know. But that's what the problem comes down to, in the end.

On the TV end, the problem in Canada is in large part that OTA doesn't make much money compared to specialty channels due to one collecting subscription fees and the other not doing so. Subscriber fees are a huge driver of revenue, even on channels with lots of viewers and good demographics for advertisers (like TSN & Sportsnet). Fee for carriage could alleviate that, assuming the money paid for a local CTV station actually went to local production at that station and not into Bell Media's general revenue pot, *and* if the extra increase in bills didn't drive people to cord cutting even faster. So they do what the CRTC mandates, because there's little reason to do more.

(You see this mentality at work with CBC as well, where the same person will say "cut funding to CBC!" and then "how come CBC doesn't have more news from middle-of-nowhere NB!?", as if those two things aren't directly related.)

Of course, a government subsidy is a lousy answer, because who determines who gets what, and how do you pay for it? I certainly don't want my tax dollars going to fund Ezra Levant's shameless making up BS about the Quebec City shooting, then furiously deleting it all when it turns out the shooter is a white right winger. Other people will feel similar about different sources, and the whole idea is fraught with peril.
 

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It's not so much that they're making money. Heck, I don't begrudge them for making money, because they are a business afterall. But it's the way they constantly conduct themselves. They are a major provider. They've got a strangle-hold in some markets. But it's become increasingly obvious that it's too much for them to handle. It's a big country, and I think they've overextended themselves. I've been saying this for awhile now, but I really do think these markets that they don't care about should be sold to someone who would be able to care for them more. Because if they're not able to invest in them, what's the point in even owning them? If they were run by a smaller independently run network, sort of like it was in the 90's, I think we'd be much better off, both in terms of focus and attention, and being able to keep up at a better pace technologically. What we have now is a bad state of neglect. And it's hard to have this happen time and time again when we could use just a bit of attention. Really surprised Niagara doesn't have one, as I'd expect that to be a big market given the tourists.
 

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But there are no independent Canadian buyers coming forward.
Perhaps it is time to allow foreign ownership?
Considering how hard the market is for an independent channel operator to compete against massive vertically integrated oligarchs... why would you expect any independent buyers to come forward?

The CRTC nuked that market from orbit when they allowed vertical integration.
 

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I wouldn't expect that. I was replying to the post before mine. This website had a policy of not allowing quotes from the immediately preceding post I believe.
 

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Keep in mind, many channels even in the 1990s where losing money. CFPL as an example has been losing money even prior to Baton ownership which I believe started in 1993. CHCH is much the same when they were under WIC, Canwest and now even Channel Zero. The problem is ad revenue just isn't enough to support television. We have a unique situation in Canada where much of the popular programming is foreign (mostly from the US) and the studios want big money for programming. Other countries don't have this issue. The best way to resolve the issue is fee for carriage and then perhaps some subsidy/rebate for low income households.

I don't think independent broadcasters is really going to solve the issue because a.) there really aren't many left willing to buy conventional broadcast stations and b.) the ones that exist currently are struggling financially (CHCH, TBayTV (CHFD,CKPR), CHEK).

I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see all the CTV Two stations shuttered in the next few years. With the rise of Internet streaming (like CraveTV); much of the programs that don't fit on the main CTV Network could simply just go to CraveTV and that in turn would drive more subscription revenues.
 

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The only possible survivor out of CTV Two might be London if they want a local main CTV presence there. CTV Two Barrie, Ottawa and Victoria are too close to existing CTV stations to convert to a main CTV station. If CTV Two London goes I could also see CTV Kitchener going as well. I would think they would even forgo with local transmitters and follow in the steps of CBC and TVO shutting everything down leaving just Toronto and perhaps Ottawa.
 

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I suspect that total advertising dollars are higher now than ever before. To me the issues are two-fold:
1) TV's share of that spend is rapidly diminishing
2) "Live" TV itself is a dying medium.

To me, TV's only value add is for live events (e.g. news events, sports, cultural performances).
Sports command a premium subscription value in the marketplace.
Local news sadly does not. Perhaps this is in part because people are reluctant to pay for a service they have historically received free funded by the commercial networks?

I appreciate local TV news, but would agree that it is most likely that small market local TV news probably has little future. I think it is very disappointing that CTV's small markets have not gone HD local but who would choose to invest good money in unprofitable, undervalued operations?

I have little problem with commercial stations holding back from investment with no commercial future.
I have a huge problem with TVO appropriating millions of taxpayers' dollars on a digital conversion and then pulling the plug on broadcasting to most of the province.
 

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You could make the same argument for CKVR or even CIVI becoming main CTV stations as CKVR's distance from Toronto is probably about as far as Kitchener and there is a similar distance between Vancouver or Victoria. IMO the later is probably very unlikely since they operate CIVT as a province wide station. I think because CKCO adequately covers Southwestern Ontario, CFPL is highly unlikely to become a main network affiliate, the same is probably true of CKVR as it overlaps with CFTO's transmitters in Toronto, Peterborough and Orillia (Though Orillia will probably shutdown in the near future).

I honestly believe at some point these will be the only Bell Media transmitters while everything else will probably shut down.

CIVT-DT Vancouver
CFCN-DT Calgary
CFCN-DT-5 Lethbridge
CFRN-DT Edmonton
CKCK-DT Regina
CFQC-DT Saskatoon
CKY-DT Winnipeg
CICI-DT Sudbury
CKCO-DT Kitchener
CFTO-DT Toronto
CFTO-DT-2 Peterborough
CJOH-DT Ottawa
CFCF-DT Montreal
CKCW-DT Moncton
CKCW-DT-2 Charlottetown
CKLT-DT Saint John
CJCH-DT Halifax

The only other possible transmitters which are still analog that might convert to digital and continue broadcasting are...

CIPA Prince Albert
CICC Yorkton
CHBX Sault Ste. Marie
CITO Timmins
CKNY North Bay
CJCB Sydney
CJDC Dawson Creek
CFTK Terrace

However if CTV shuttered CTV Two, I can't see them continuing to operate the above stations since they are all very small markets (often smaller than the CTV Two stations markets) and many of these have very minimal local programming and in the case of CJCB I think the only difference between it and CJCH Halifax is commercials.
 

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The best way to resolve the issue is fee for carriage and then perhaps some subsidy/rebate for low income households.
No subsidies. That's the government's solution for everything these days, and it's creating distorted situations where the total sum of subsidies/grants/rebates you lose creates a marginal tax rate approaching 100%. Linear TV is in no way an essential service that we need to prop up with taxpayer grants.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see all the CTV Two stations shuttered in the next few years. With the rise of Internet streaming (like CraveTV); much of the programs that don't fit on the main CTV Network could simply just go to CraveTV and that in turn would drive more subscription revenues.
That makes sense, yeah.
 

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I am shocked! I turned on CTV Northern Ontario today, and I don't know how long it's been like this, but they're finally broadcasting in HD! Has Hell frozen over?? Pleasantly surprised. :D Never thought I'd see the day.
 
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