CRTC issues annual report on the communications industry

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, July 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today issued its annual Communications Monitoring Report. The report, which is based on 2009 data, provides an overview of the Canadian telecommunications and broadcasting industries.

In 2009, the communications industry accounted for 4.6% of Canada's gross domestic product with overall revenues rising 2.1% to $55.4 billion, compared with revenues of $54.3 billion the previous year.

As technological convergence continues to evolve in the 21st century, Canadians are increasingly using mobile and Internet services to communicate and access broadcasting content. By the end of the year, there were 23.8 million wireless subscribers and 8.3 million broadband Internet subscribers.


In 2009, revenues for the broadcasting industry rose by 3% and totalled $14.4 billion. Growth was primarily driven by the distribution of television signals and by the specialty and pay television sector, which recorded increases of 7.4% and 5.8%, respectively.

These gains were partially offset by a drop off in advertising. The effects were felt most strongly by conventional television stations and radio stations, whose revenues declined by 7.4% and 5.2%, respectively.

Internet usage among Canadians reached new highs in 2009, with the consumption of broadcasting content among the most popular activities. Twenty-five per cent of anglophones and 20% of francophones reported watching a television program online. Similarly, 17% of anglophones and 14% of francophones listened to a radio station's audio stream over the Internet.

In 2009, the broadcasting industry contributed more than $2.8 billion to the development of Canadian talent and the creation and broadcast of Canadian programming.


The telecommunications industry reported a 1.8% increase in overall revenues to reach $41 billion for 2009. The wireless and Internet sectors posted positive results, while revenues for long-distance and local residential telephone services continued to decline.

Broadband Internet, which enables the streaming and downloading of high-quality broadcasting content, was available to nearly every home through a variety of service providers. In addition, the percentage of Canadians that could access the Internet using their cellphones went from 91% to 96% in one year.

There was competition in all sectors of the telecommunications industry. Competitors of established companies reported $18.1 billion in revenues, which accounted for 44% of all revenues. In particular, cable companies increased their share of local telephone lines and residential Internet subscribers to 27% and 57%, respectively.

Communications Monitoring Report


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

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.


       Additional information on the Communications Monitoring Report

The Communications Monitoring Report contains broadcasting data for the year ended August 31, 2009, and telecommunications data for the year ended December 31, 2009. The report reflects the worldwide economic downturn and the accompanying decline in advertising revenues experienced by broadcasters.

    Broadcasting highlights

    i)    Radio

          -  In 2009, Canadians could access 1,221 different radio services,
             including 41 digital services. There were 910 English-language
             services, 265 French-language services and 46 services in other
          -  The average time spent listening to radio services decreased
             3.2% from 18.3 hours per week in 2008 to 17.7 hours in 2009.
             Private commercial radio stations captured 79% of the weekly
             radio tuning share; the CBC 12.7%; and other stations, 8.3%.
          -  The revenues of private commercial broadcasters declined by
             5.2%, going from $1.59 billion in 2008 to $1.51 billion in 2009.
          -  In 2009, commercial radio stations contributed $51 million to
             the development of Canadian content.

    ii)   Television

          -  In 2009, Canadians could choose from 704 television services,
             which consisted of 459 English-language services, 111 French
             language services and 134 services in other languages.
          -  Canadians watched an average of 26.5 hours of television per
             week, which was slightly below the 2008 average of 26.6 hours.
          -  Overall revenues for commercial television services were
             relatively unchanged from one year to the next, coming in at
             $5.47 billion. A decrease in revenues for conventional
             television stations was mostly offset by an increase in revenues
             for specialty and pay services.
          -  Private conventional television stations generated $1.97 billion
             in revenues in 2009, which was down 7.8% from $2.14 billion the
             previous year.
          -  Similarly, the CBC's conventional television stations reported
             $392 million in advertising and other commercial revenues, a 5%
             decrease from $412 million in 2008.
          -  Specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand
             services saw their revenues increase 5.8% from $2.9 billion in
             2008 to $3.1 billion in 2009.
          -  In 2009, private conventional television broadcasters invested
             $599.4 million on Canadian programming, or $20.2 million less
             than the $619.6 million spent the previous year. During the same
             period, spending on Canadian programming by specialty and pay
             television services totalled $1 billion, which did not a
             represent a change from the previous year.

    iii)  Broadcasting distribution

          -  In 2009, 8.5 million households subscribed to television
             services delivered via cable or Internet Protocol Television. An
             additional 2.8 million households subscribed to satellite
          -  The number of subscribers that receive digital television
             services jumped to 7.6 million in 2009, an increase of 11.9%
             over the 6.8 million subscribers a year earlier. Sixty-eight
             per cent of all subscribers now receive digital television
          -  Revenues generated from the distribution of television
             programming went from $6.9 billion in 2008 to $7.5 billion in
             2009, an increase of 7.4%.
          -  On average, subscribers paid $2.78 more per month for their
             services in 2009, an increase of 5% over the previous year. This
             increase can be explained by higher monthly fees, a greater
             consumption of pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services,
             and consumers upgrading to digital or high-definition
          -  In 2009, broadcasting distribution companies contributed
             $352 million to Canadian programming, including programming for
             community channels. This total was 8% higher than the
             $325 million allocated for this purpose in 2008.

    iv)   New media broadcasting

          -  Anglophones spent 14.5 hours online per week in 2009, up from
             13.8 hours, while francophones spent 11.8 hours online, up from
             11.1 hours.
          -  Anglophones spent 2.2 hours per week viewing online television
             content and 4.1 hours per week streaming radio content. At the
             same time, francophones spent 1.3 hours per week viewing online
             television content and 4.6 hours per week streaming radio

    Telecommunications highlights

    i)    Revenues, expenditures and penetration

          -  Telecommunications revenues increased by 1.8% in one year,
             growing from $40.3 billion in 2008 to $41 billion in 2009.
          -  Competitors of established companies accounted for
             $18.1 billion, or 44%, of the total revenues, compared with
             $17 billion in 2008.
          -  In 2009, telecommunications companies allocated $8 billion for
             capital expenditures, which are used to maintain, improve or
             expand networks. This amount represented a decrease of 33.4%
             from the $12 billion reported in 2008, but was more in line with
             the $7.8 billion spent in 2007.

    ii)   Wireless telephone services

          -  Total wireless telephone services made up 41% of all
             telecommunications revenues as revenues grew 5.3% from
             $16 billion in 2008 to $16.9 billion in 2009.
          -  The number of mobile telephone subscribers rose from
             22.1 million to 23.8 million, an increase of 7.8% in one year.
          -  Wireless networks reach approximately 99% of Canadians. More
             advanced wireless networks and expanded footprint, which support
             smartphones and other devices that connect to the Internet, were
             available to 96% of the population.

    iii)  Internet services

          -  Revenues generated from the provision of Internet services
             increased by 6.3% in 2009, or from $6.2 billion to $6.6 billion.
             Internet services accounted for 16% of all telecommunications
          -  In 2009, the number of residential Internet subscribers grew by
             2.6% to 10.1 million, or 75% of all Canadian households.
          -  Canadians continued to adopt faster Internet services. 62% of
             all households had a broadband service that offered download
             speeds of at least 1.5 megabits per second, as opposed to 52% a
             year earlier.

    iv)   Local and long distance telephone services

          -  The number of local residential telephone lines dipped from
             13 million in 2008 to 12.7 million in 2009. There was little
             movement in residential revenues, which came in at
             $4.79 billion, down slightly from $4.87 billion the previous
          -  In 2009, local and long distance services accounted for 32% of
             all telecommunications revenues, compared with 52% in 2002.
          -  Cable companies served 3.4 million residential telephone lines,
             or 27% of the residential market, and accounted for 23% of
             residential revenues with $1.1 billion.

    v)    International perspective

          -  Canada had the highest penetration rate, at 78%, for broadband
             Internet connections, but lagged behind in mobile subscriptions
             with a penetration rate of 71%.(1)
          -  A survey of five other countries revealed that prices for
             Canadian telecommunications service generally fell at the median
             point. Canada had the lowest rates for residential telephone
             service and the second-lowest for mid-level broadband Internet
             services (featuring download speeds of 1.5 to 9 megabits
             per second).(2)

    (1)  Compared to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany,
         Italy, Japan and Australia.
    (2)  Compared to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia
         and Japan.

SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: For further information: Media Relations:, 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),

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