Canadian online, TV and radio use rises in 2011

The amount of time Canadians spent watching television, listening to the radio and online media use increased last year, the country's broadcast regulator says.

CRTC calls it 'good news for Canadian creators'

Canadians spent more time consuming media in all forms in 2011. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

The amount of time Canadians spent watching television, listening to the radio and online media use increased last year, the country's broadcast regulator says.

A Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission report said the average Canadian:

  • Watched 28.5 hours of television per week in 2011, up from 28 hours in 2010.
  • Listened to 17.7 hours of radio per week, up from 17.6 hours the previous year.
  • Consumed 2.8 hours of internet television per week, an increase from 2.4 hours in 2010.

"The fact that they are spending more time watching or listening to programming is good news for Canadian creators," CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais said.

Across Canada, there were 1,183 radio and 702 TV channels last year, the report found.

Despite strong showings for the traditional media, the numbers showed a continued migration towards the internet.

Online speed counts

There were 13.4 million households across Canada last year, and the CRTC report found 78 per cent of them had some sort of internet connection. As well, 11.8 million, or 89.6 per cent of all households, had some sort of television service.

Online, speed is becoming more popular: the percentage of households with download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second rose to 54 per cent in 2011, from 51 per cent in 2010.

The number of Canadians subscribing to some sort of wireless service (such as a cellphone) grew by six per cent to 27.4 million.

The increasing usage meant Canadians paid more to telecommunications providers.

On average, each household spent $181 a month on communications services. That's about 4.1 per cent of total household spending and about equal to the amount households spend on health care, the CRTC said.

Within that, the average bill per month last year for the following services were:

  • Broadband internet: $38.79.
  • Wireless: $57.98.
  • Landline telephone: $31.23.
  • Basic television cable: $61.86.   

Overall revenues for the telecommunications industry climbed to $59.3 billion in 2011, a 3.3 per cent increase from $57.4 billion in 2010.