Revenues up over past year

Montreal– Revenues were up over the past year for the Canadian cable and satellite operators, according to a report released Thursday by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

For the year ended Aug. 31, the cable and satellite companies showcased growth, with revenues rising from C$11.4 billion ($11.8 billion) the previous year to $13 billion.

This comes while the economic climate is still fairly tough, and is a testament to the health of the business in Canada.

The overall revenues from the cable companies surged 9.7% in 2010, to $10.5 billion, from $9.6 billion the previous year. At the same time operating expenses for the cable companies went from $5.3 billion to $5.7 billion. The result for the cable operators — led by giants Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications — was that profits rose to $2.6 billion, up from $2.4 billion a year earlier.

In addition, the number of Canadian households with a cable subscription increased 2.2% to hit 8.3 million subscribers.

The total revenues for the satellite operators in Canada jumped from $2.3 billion in 2009 to $2.5 billion, an increase of 8.9%,while the profit margin increased from a 1.9% loss to a 6.9% gain. Satellite subscribers also increased 3.7% to reach 2.9 million households.

Last year, the cable and satellite operators pumped $383 million into Canadian TV production, including $197 million to the Canadian Media Fund (formerly the Canadian Television Fund), $54 million to other independent funds and $132 million to cable community channels.The cable and satellite companies also doled out $105 million more to the Local Programming Improvement Fund, which was launched in September 2009 and is designed to support news and local programming in smaller markets.

Last year, the cable and satellite companies paid $2 billion to the cable channels, up 11.6% from the $1.8 million they paid to the channels a year earlier, and the satellite operators paid $399 million, up 4.5% from the $382 million they paid the previous year.

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