TORONTO — Statistics Canada says the country's broadcasters saw profits decline by more than 20 per cent in 2014, partly as a result of the impact of factors like online streaming and mobile viewing on advertising revenue.
The federal agency says total revenues for the broadcast television industry dropped 0.3 per cent in the year to $7.6 billion, while profits before interest and taxes fell 22 per cent to $836.8 million.
It says advertising sales, the biggest contributor to broadcaster revenue, have fallen every year since 2011 and were off 0.8 per cent to $3.4 billion in 2014.
Meanwhile, programming expenses rose 5.3 per cent in 2014 to $4.8 billion.
Private conventional broadcasters, not including specialty channels, have been hit hardest, with air time sales falling $302.5 million since 2011. Advertising revenues for all broadcasters, including public, non-commercial and specialty channels fell $190.9 million in the same period.
Subscription revenues provided a bright spot for the industry, rising 5.5 per cent in 2014 to $2.9 billion. That rise follows gains of 8.4 per cent in 2012 and 5.3 per cent in 2013.
Broadcasters are looking to subscriptions to boost bottom lines following the CRTC's May 2015 decision giving consumers more choice over which channels are included in their cable packages.
Private conventional broadcasters have seen their share of total TV revenue shrink from nearly a third to less than a quarter since 2010 as specialty and pay-TV services have grown in popularity.
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