CRTC issues first annual report on the communications industry

    OTTAWA-GATINEAU, July 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today issued the inaugural Communications
Monitoring Report. Prior to this year, the Commission had published separate
annual monitoring reports for the broadcasting and telecommunications
    "The convergence of technologies and industries has dramatically reshaped
the communications landscape in recent years," said Konrad von Finckenstein,
Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "This year's monitoring report gives us our first
comprehensive look at the state of the overall communications industry in
Canada, and is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in this
    In 2007, the communications industry posted revenues of $51.1 billion,
representing an increase of 5.7% over the $48.3 billion reported in 2006.
    Revenues for the broadcasting industry were up $816.1 million, or 6.7%,
and totalled $13.1 billion in 2007. Growth in this sector has been principally
driven by broadcasting distribution companies, as well as by specialty, pay
and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand services. Similarly,
telecommunications revenues increased by $1.9 billion, or 5.3%, to reach
$38 billion in 2007, mainly due to the demand for wireless and residential
high-speed Internet services.
    The report shows that cable companies have emerged as major competitors
in the provision of local and cellular telephone and high-speed Internet
services to residential consumers. As of 2007, they had captured 17.9% of
residential local exchange lines. In the cellphone market, cable companies and
other alternative service providers held a 40% share of subscribers. Finally,
cable companies provided high-speed Internet services to 55% of subscribers.
    The Communications Monitoring Report provides information on different
sectors of the broadcasting and telecommunications industries. This year's
report also includes expanded sections covering new media trends and
international perspectives. Copies of the report will only be available
electronically on the CRTC's website.
    The Commission has been reporting annually on the broadcasting industry
since 2000 and on the telecommunications industry since 2001.

    Communications Monitoring Report

    The CRTC

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

             Backgrounder on the Communications Monitoring Report

    I. Broadcasting highlights


    - In 2007, Canadians were able enjoy 1,222 different radio services,
      including 912 English-language services, 274 French-language services
      and 36 services in other languages.
    - Canadians listened to an average of 18.3 hours of radio per week, which
      represented a slight decline from the 18.6 hours in 2006. Private
      commercial radio stations captured 80.5% of total radio tuning per
      week; the CBC, 12.4%; and other stations, 7.1%.
    - Revenues for private commercial stations increased by 6.2%, from
      $1.4 billion in 2006 to $1.5 billion in 2007.
    - In 2007, commercial radio stations paid $23.5 million for the
      development of Canadian content.
    - Benefits stemming from the transfer of ownership or control totalled
      $100.8 million in 2007. These funds represent a percentage of the total
      value of the broadcasting assets involved in transactions, which are
      then invested in the broadcasting system. The majority of benefits
      generated in 2007 came from the transactions involving Astral/Standard
      and CTVglobemedia/CHUM.


    - Canadians could choose from 685 television services in 2007, including
      456 English-language services, 103 French-language services and
      126 services in other languages.
    - In 2007, Canadians watched an average of 26.8 hours of television per
      week. Canadian television services attracted 98.5% of the French-
      language viewing audience in Quebec and 74.9% of the viewing audience
      in the rest of the country.
    - Commercial television revenues increased 4.3%, or $218 million, from
      $5 billion in 2006 to $5.3 billion in 2007. This was largely due to
      increased subscriber revenues of $152 million.
    - Revenues for specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-
      demand services increased by 9%, rising from $2.5 billion in 2006 to
      $2.7 billion in 2007.
    - Revenues for private conventional television broadcasters went from
      $2.1 billion in 2006 to $2.2 billion in 2007, an increase of 1.3%.
      During this period, revenues for English-language stations grew by 2%
      to $1.8 billion, while those for French-language stations fell by 2% to
      $381 million.
    - Private conventional broadcasters spent $616 million on Canadian
      programming in 2007, which was slightly lower than the $623.7 million
      spent in 2006. Spending by specialty and pay television services on
      Canadian programming increased from $888.4 million in 2006 to
      $917.9 million in 2007.
    - In 2007, benefits stemming from the transfer of ownership and control
      totalled $291.1 million. These funds represent a percentage of the
      total value of the broadcasting assets involved in transactions, which
      are then invested in the broadcasting system. The bulk of the benefits
      generated in 2007 came from three major transactions involving
      CTVglobemedia/CHUM, Rogers Media/CHUM's Citytv stations and
      CanWest/Alliance Atlantis.

    New media

    - Internet usage continued to increase among Canadians in 2007, with
      Anglophones spending 13.4 hours online per week and Francophones
      spending 9.8 hours, up from 11.7 hours and 9.1 hours respectively in
    - The number of Canadians who have watched a video online has more than
      doubled over the past three years, with user-generated content being
      more popular than professionally produced programs.
    - Among the more popular online activities in 2007, 36% of Canadians
      watched a video, 16% listened to a streaming radio station and 17%
      downloaded music.
    - The number of Canadians who reported owning an MP3 player increased
      from 27% in 2006 to 31% in 2007. Furthermore, 11% of Canadians reported
      downloading and listening to a podcast on either their computer or an
      MP3 player, an activity that is seen as a complement to conventional
    - Online advertising continued to experience growth, with spending rising
      from $900 million in 2006 to $1.2 billion in 2007.

    Broadcasting distribution

    - In 2007, 7.7 million Canadians subscribed to cable services and
      2.6 million Canadians subscribed to direct-to-home satellite
      distribution and multipoint distribution systems.
    - The number of subscribers to digital services rose from 5.8 million in
      2006 to 6.2 million in 2007.
    - Revenues generated from the distribution of programming grew by 8.8%
      from 2006 to 2007, increasing from $5.8 billion to $6.3 billion.
      Between 2003 and 2007, revenues have grown at an annual rate of 8%.
    - In 2007, broadcasting distribution companies contributed $296.7 million
      to Canadian programming and local expression, including community
      channels. These companies contributed $273.6 million the previous year.

    II. Telecommunications highlights

    - Total revenues for the telecommunications industry increased by 5.3%
      between 2006 and 2007, climbing from $36 billion to $38 billion.
    - The share of revenues earned by the competitors of established
      companies increased by 14.6%, from $13.7 billion in 2006 to
      $15.7 billion in 2007. Competitors accounted for 41% of total revenues.
    - Capital expenditures went from $6.9 billion in 2006 to $8.2 billion in
      2007, an increase of 18.7%. Among other projects, these funds were
      invested in enhancements to wireless networks, the expansion of
      wireless capacity and coverage to additional urban centres and various
      rural locations, Digital Subscriber Line services, and Internet
      Protocol Television services.
    - The wireless market was the largest sector of the telecommunications
      industry with revenues of $14.4 billion, an increase of 14.4% from
      $12.6 billion in 2006. Overall, wireless revenues accounted for 38% of
      all telecommunications revenues and grew at an annual rate of 16.2%
      between 2003 and 2007.
    - There were 20.3 million wireless subscribers in 2007, an increase of
      8.2% over the previous year.
    - In the residential market, there were 12.9 million local and access
      lines. Cable companies held a 17.9% share of these lines, or
      2.3 million lines, compared with a 12.3% share, or 1.6 million lines,
      in 2006. They also increased their share of revenues in this market
      segment from 8.4% to 13.6%.
    - Across the country, broadband is available to 93% of households using
      land-line facilities. Satellite facilities can extend this reach, which
      is only limited by capacity constraints, to nearly all Canadian
      households. Virtually all Canadian households in urban centres can
      access broadband services, compared with 81% in rural areas.
    - Canadians continued to adopt newer technologies such as broadband
      access to the Internet. In 2007, the number of residential subscribers
      to high-speed Internet services increased by 12% to 8.4 million.
    - Prices for telecommunications services in Canada are in line with those
      in other countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom,
      France and Australia), with:
         - favourable land-line rates for consumers across all usage levels,
         - rates for high-speed Internet service falling at the median point.
    - Canada had the highest proportion of households subscribing to
      broadband connections among all of the G7 countries. Broadband to the
      home in Europe is primarily supplied over fixed telephone lines,
      whereas in Canada consumers have more choice as broadband delivery is
      widely available over telephone lines and cable.

For further information:

For further information: Media Relations: MediaRelations
(819) 997-9403, Fax: (819) 997-4245; General Inquiries: (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), On-line services
(; These
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