Canuck pay channels see boom

Overall revenues increase by 12.4%

MONTREAL — Canada’s specialty channels, pay, pay-per-view, and video-on-demand services reported a major upswing in revenue last year, per a study released Wednesday by federal broadcast regulator the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Last year, the channels reported their highest rate of growth in revenue in the past five years.

Overall revenues increased by 12.4% last year to C$2.5 billion ($2.2 billion), up from $2 billion a year earlier. The channels’ profits before interest and taxes was $510 million in 2006.

The country’s 136 specialty TV channels accounted for the biggest chunk of the total revenue, some $1.8 billion, with the remaining $429 million in revenue coming from pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services. The Canadian specialty and pay TV outlets spent $784 million on Canadian programming last year, including $133 million on news programs, $188 million on other information shows, $197 million on sports, $144 million on drama, $37 million on music and variety shows and $54 million on general interest shows.

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