Canadians log Internet gain

TV audiences fall while online users grow

TV viewing was down slightly last year in Canada, while Internet penetration in the Great White North grew significantly.

Canadians watched an average of 27.6 hours of TV per week in 2006, down from 28.1 a year earlier. But Canadians increased their presence on the Web last year, with 70% of households subscribing to the Internet last year, up 6% from the previous year. The percentage of Canuck households with high-speed Internet access increased to 60% up from 51% in 2005.

Six percent of Canadians watched TV on the Web last year. Advertising on the Internet in Canada totaled C$1 billion ($936 million) in 2006, up from $526 million the year before.

These figures were reported in a Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) report released on Tuesday.

Revenues for conventional television hit $2.4 billion last year, up from $2.3 billion in 2005. Revenues for cable channels, pay TV and pay-per-view totaled $2.3 billion, up from $2 billion in 2005. The private conventional TV networks spent $584 million on Canadian programming in 2006, up from $549 million a year earlier.

Last year, 7.4 million Canadians subscribed to cable services, up from 6.8 million in 2005, and 2.6 million Canucks subscribed to satellite services, up from 2.5 million. The Canadian cable and satellite operators posted revenues of $7.2 billion last year.

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