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Canuck pay TV revs equal free nets

2004 total hits C$1.7 billion

MONTREAL — Revenues from English-language Canuck specialty, pay and pay-per-view services hit C$1.7 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2004, equal to those of English-language commercial broadcasters for the first time.

However, the French-language commercial broadcasters made $343 million in 2004, $48 million more than the French-language specialty, pay and PPV services.

These statistics were reported in a study of the TV industry in Canada released Wednesday by broadcast regulator the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommuni cations Commission.

During the 2003-04 TV season, dramas and comedies remained the most popular shows, capturing 43% of all TV viewing. English-language dramas and comedies accounted for 10% of that figure.

As usual, French-Canadians watch more homegrown series than English-Canadians. Canadian drama and comedy shows on the commercial French stations garner 23% of all the comedy and drama viewing on those stations, and homegrown drama and comedy garners 66% of all drama and comedy viewing on Radio-Canada, the French version of pubcaster CBC.

In 2004, Canadians watched TV for 25.8 hours a week on average, according to Nielsen Media Research, and for 21.4 hours a week, according to the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. For both, this is a reduction of 20 minutes from 2003.

Audience share for Canadian stations, compared with non-Canadian stations, increased between 1993 and 2004.

In Quebec, the audience share for Canadian stations rose from 88.3% in 1993 to 90.1% in 2004. In the other Canadian provinces, the audience share for Canadian stations went from 67.3% in 1993 to 71.9% in 2004.

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