Business

Radio revenues flat last year but costs increased, CRTC says

Revenues at Canada's 695 commercial AM and FM radio stations was basically flat last year, but costs increased by $19 million, Canada's broadcast regulator said Monday.
Revenues at commercial radio stations in Canada decreased by 0.5 per cent last year, the CRTC says. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

Revenues at Canada's 695 commercial AM and FM radio stations was basically flat last year, but costs increased by $19 million, Canada's broadcast regulator said Monday.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said revenues for radio stations shrank by about $9 million to $1.614 billion in the 12 months up to August of 2014.

At the same time, the costs of running those stations increased by $19 million, to $1.27 billion. As a result, the industry's profitability shrank from $328 to $299 million for the year.

"These revenues enable commercial radio stations to offer a variety of programming to Canadians, to support established and emerging Canadian talent and to provide employment to over 9,900 individuals," the CRTC said.

FM radio stations now make up an even larger majority of all stations in Canada, with 12 more added during the year across the country. Of 695 total stations, there are now 127 AM stations across Canada.

On the advertising side, local ad revenues decreased by 2.86 per cent while national ad campaigns took in 4.4 per cent more money.

CBC numbers

The CBC is one of the largest radio broadcasters in the country, but the public broadcaster isn't included in the numbers above.

CBC Radio saw its total revenues for the 82 radio services it operates decreased by 5.6 per cent, to $287.6 million. "That is predominantly due to a decline in the parliamentary appropriations directed to the public broadcaster's radio services, which went from $295.5 million in 2013 to $277.3 million in 2014," the CRTC said.

The public broadcaster's decision to start airing advertising in a limited capacity on Radio 2 and Espace Musique brought in $1.1 million.

Total costs declined by three per cent at CBC Radio's 82 local channels to $274.7 million.

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