CRTC issues second annual report on the communications industry



    OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Aug. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today issued its second annual
Communications Monitoring Report. The report, which is based on 2008 data,
provides information on the various sectors of the telecommunications and
broadcasting industries, as well as on how Canada compares internationally.
    The communications industry made an important contribution to the
Canadian economy as revenues increased by 6%, climbing from $51.3 billion in
2007 to $54 billion in 2008.

    Telecommunications

    Telecommunications revenues came in at $40.3 billion for the twelve-month
period that ended on December 31, 2008. This improvement of $2.1 billion, or
5.5%, in one year was achieved on the strength of the wireless and Internet
sectors. Revenues generated from the provision of home telephone service rose
by 0.5%, or from $4.85 billion in 2007 to $4.87 billion in 2008. In addition,
8% of Canadian households subscribed only to wireless telephone service.
    Competitors continued to gain ground on the established
telecommunications companies, with their total revenues increasing by 10%,
going from $15.9 billion in 2007 to $17.6 billion in 2008. While their share
of residential Internet subscribers held steady at 55%, competitors gained an
additional 4.6% share of the residential telephone market.
    Approximately 94% of Canadian households can access broadband Internet
services through telephone, cable or fixed-wireless networks, and 91% of
Canadians can access these services by using their cellphones.

    Broadcasting

    Broadcasting revenues were up $900 million, or 7.3%, and totalled $14
billion for the twelve-month period that ended on August 31, 2008. The
delivery of television services showed the highest growth with revenues going
from $6.3 billion to $7 billion in one year. According to Statistics Canada,
the cable and satellite services index increased twice as much as the consumer
price index between 2002 and 2007, or by 22.7% compared to 11.4%.
    The amount of time Canadians spend online increased in 2008. Anglophones
spent 13.8 hours online per week, up from 13.4 hours in 2007, while
francophones spent 11.1 hours online, up from 9.8 hours. Eighteen per cent of
anglophones and 16% of francophones reported viewing a television program
online. Canadians also spent more time listening to podcasts as anglophones
and francophones reported usage increases of 46% and 40%, respectively.
    In 2008, the broadcasting industry contributed more than $2.8 billion to
the development of Canadian talent and to the creation and broadcast of
Canadian programming.

    
    Communications Monitoring Report
    www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/policymonitoring/2009/cmr.htm
    

    The CRTC

    The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.



    
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             Backgrounder on the Communications Monitoring Report

    The Communications Monitoring Report contains broadcasting data for the
year ended August 31, 2008, and telecommunications data for the year ended
December 31, 2008. The report therefore does not reflect the impact of the
global financial downturn on the Canadian broadcasting industry.

    Broadcasting highlights

    i)   Radio

    -    In 2008, Canadians could access 1,213 different radio services,
         which consisted of 897 English-language services, 270
         French-language services and 46 in other languages.
    -    The average time spent listening to the radio remained unchanged at
         18.3 hours per week. Private commercial stations captured 79.1% of
         the weekly radio tuning share; the CBC, 12.6%; and other stations,
         8.3%.
    -    Private commercial broadcasters saw their revenues rise from
         $1.5 billion in 2007 to $1.58 billion in 2008, a 5% increase.
    -    In 2008, commercial radio stations contributed $28.6 million for the
         development of Canadian content.

    ii)  Television

    -    In 2008, Canadians could choose from 707 television services, which
         consisted of 453 English-language services, 125 French-language
         services and 129 services in other languages.
    -    Canadians watched an average of 26.6 hours of television per week,
         which represented a slight decline from 26.8 hours in 2007. Canadian
         television services attracted 98.5% of the French-language viewing
         audience in Quebec and 75.3% of the viewing audience in the rest of
         the country.
    -    Revenues for commercial television services increased by 4%, from
         $5.3 billion in 2007 to $5.5 billion in 2008.
    -    Private conventional television broadcasters saw their revenues
         decrease by 1.5%, from $2.17 billion in 2007 to $2.14 billion in
         2008. Reversing a trend from a year earlier, revenues for
         English-language stations fell by 2% to $1.7 billion, while those
         for French-language stations grew by 1% to $384 million.
    -    Specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand
         services generated $2.9 billion in revenues in 2008, an increase of
         8% from $2.7 billion in 2007.
    -    In 2008, private conventional television broadcasters invested
         $619.6 million on Canadian programming, which was marginally higher
         than the $616 million spent in 2007. During the same period,
         spending by specialty and pay television services on Canadian
         programming increased from $918.6 million to $1 billion.

    iii) Broadcasting distribution

    -    In 2008, 8.4 million Canadian households subscribed to cable
         services and 2.7 million subscribed to satellite services. Of the
         total number of subscribers, 6.8 million, or 61.6%, received digital
         television services.
    -    Revenues generated from the distribution of programming improved by
         10.2%, climbing from $6.3 billion in 2007 to $7 billion in 2008.
    -    On average, subscribers paid $3.57 more per month in 2008, an
         increase of 7.2% over the previous year. This increase can be
         explained by higher monthly fees, a greater consumption of pay and
         pay-per-view services, and consumers upgrading to digital or
         high-definition television services.
    -    The cable and satellite services (including pay television) index,
         as calculated by Statistics Canada, increased by 6% between 2007 and
         2008.
    -    In 2008, broadcasting distribution companies contributed
         $323 million to Canadian programming, including programming for
         community channels. These companies allocated $299.2 million for the
         same purpose in 2007.

    iv)  New media broadcasting

    -    The amount of time Canadians spend online increased again in 2008.
         Anglophones spent 13.8 hours online per week, up from 13.4 hours in
         2007, while francophones spent 11.1 hours online, up from 9.8 hours.
    -    Eighteen per cent of anglophones and 16% of francophones reported
         watching a television program or a clip from a television program
         online.
    -    The streaming of AM and FM radio stations over the Internet has
         experienced a decline over the last few years. The percentage of
         anglophones who streamed a radio station in a given month dropped
         from 23% in 2005 to 16% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of
         francophones who engaged in the same online activity decreased from
         16% to 13% during the same period.
    -    However, between 2007 and 2008, podcasts saw an increase in usage of
         46% among anglophones and 40% among francophones.

    Telecommunications highlights

    i)   Revenues, expenditures and penetration

    -    Telecommunications revenues totalled $40.3 billion in 2008, an
         increase of 5.5% from $38.2 billion in 2007.
    -    The revenues earned by the competitors of established companies
         increased by 10%, from $15.9 billion in 2007 to $17.6 billion in
         2008. Competitors captured 44% of the total revenues.
    -    Capital expenditures jumped by 54.1% in one year, going from
         $7.8 billion in 2007 to $12 billion in 2008, due in large part to
         the government's Advanced Wireless Spectrum auction.
    -    Approximately 99% of all Canadian households can access at least one
         telecommunications service, including residential, wireless or
         Internet telephone service.

    ii)  Wireless telephone services

    -    Wireless telephone services showed the highest growth among all
         sectors of the telecommunications industry, and now account for 40%
         of all revenues. Revenues increased by 10.5%, from $14.4 billion in
         2007 to $15.9 billion in 2008.
    -    However, expansion in this sector slowed slightly when compared to
         the average annual growth rate of 14.3% achieved from 2004 to 2007.
    -    In 2008, there were 22.1 million wireless telephone subscribers, an
         increase of 9% over the previous year. In addition, 8% of Canadian
         households chose to subscribe only to wireless services, and did not
         have a land-line telephone.
    -    The penetration of smartphones nearly doubled in one year, from 12%
         to 21%.
    -    Among other investments, companies expanded the coverage of their
         advanced wireless networks (3G or 3G-equivalent) to 91% of Canadian
         households, up from 78% in 2007.

    iii) Internet services

    -    Revenues from Internet services increased by 9.4%, growing from
         $5.7 billion in 2007 to $6.2 billion in 2008.
    -    In 2008, the number of residential Internet subscribers increased by
         5.6% to 9.8 million, or 74% of all Canadian households.
    -    The majority of Canadians favoured faster Internet services, as 52%
         of all households subscribed to a broadband service that offered
         speeds of at least 1.5 megabits per second.
    -    As in past years, Canada led all G7 countries when comparing the
         proportion of households subscribing to broadband Internet services.

    iv)  Local residential telephone services

    -    Total revenues for local residential telephone services were $4.87
         billion in 2008, a growth of 0.5% from $4.85 billion in 2007. Cable
         companies increased their share of these revenues from 13.6% to
         18.6% in one year.
    -    In 2008, there were 13 million residential telephone lines. Cable
         companies held a 22.5% share of these lines, which represented
         2.9 million lines. A year earlier, they held a 17.9% share, or
         2.3 million lines.

    v)   International perspective

    -    Most prices for Canadian telecommunications services compared
         favourably with those available in the United States, the United
         Kingdom, France and Australia:
         -  residential telephone rates were the lowest among the five
            countries
         -  wireless and broadband Internet rates were generally within the
            middle of the group, and
         -  rates for bundled services (including residential telephone,
            wireless, Internet and television) also fell at the median point.
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations: MediaRelations
(http://support.crtc.gc.ca/CRTCSubmissionMU/forms/Mediarelations.aspx?lang=e),
Tel: (819) 997-9403, Fax: (819) 997-4245; General Inquiries: Tel: (819)
997-0313, TDD: (819) 994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218, Toll-free No. 1-877-249-CRTC
(2782), TDD - Toll-free No. 1-877-909-CRTC (2782); Ask a question or make a
complaint (http://crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E)


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