Half of Local Canadian TV Stations Could Be Forced Off Air By 2020


According to a new report from The Globe and Mail, nearly half of Canada’s local TV stations could be forced off the air by 2020. The news comes as there has been no recent boost in revenue to help pay for local programming.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been told about the news as they prepare to open public hearings to check the viability of local TV.

The report, which was prepared in partnership with consulting firm Nordicity and communications lawyer Peter Miller, notes that private TV stations have seen a 25 percent decrease in revenue since 2010.

“In our view, the most likely scenario over the short-to-mid-term is a material, but not fatal, erosion of traditional television.”

The decline in TV revenues can be blamed on the millennials, who have turned away from tradition cable television to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. In addition, recent changes to CRTC regulations will also impact the revenues of local TV stations.


Starting on March 1, cable TV providers must offer customers a small basic service, which will be capped at $25 per month. The new regulation will result in savings for consumers, however, it will also result in reduced revenues for Canadian programming stations.

“Without broadcast regulation and Canadian ownership requirements, spending on Canadian programming could be less than a third of what it is today.”

In launching the hearings into local TV, the regulator said there is already enough money in the broadcasting system to ensure these local stations can create quality programming, including local news coverage.

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  • Ken M

    this is good news

  • JohnQ

    “The decline in TV revenues can be blamed on the millennials, who have turned away from tradition cable television to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.” This is a funny way to look at the issue in terms of blaming. More like: Streaming video services provided a far better service than traditional TV stations and the Millennials happened to be young at that time. Do we blame whatever generation happened to be young when cars replaced horses-and-carriages or do we just describe the fact that motor vehicles provided a better service than horses-and-carriages?

  • Prashanna

    This better than good news bring in American Station like ABC NEWS AND NBC NEWS and CBS news affiliated Local in Toronto and Replace Them with these F**KER CTV & CITY TV AND Global NEWS

  • FragilityG4

    If local stations had something that people wanted to watch than there would be no reason to have regulation to make sure they get revenue. Sorry, free ride is over.

  • iverge

    Most local stations are crap anyhow CTV The Social trying real hard to be The View! CityTV Marilyn Denis trying to be The Martha Stewart …. Only time I watch local stations is when they have my favourite American shows which air on ABC, NBC CBS or FOX at the same time/day!

  • Ashley Mann

    Canadian televison sucks. A long time ago the CBC made a show called Wind At My Back. I never watched it, i know nothing about it, but my friends and I got huge laughs at the title.

    We use to talk about how they named the show. They probably couldnt think of a title, someone farted and the producer yelled, “Wind at my back”. Ok i need to stop. I’ll pee. Omg way to funny.

  • Chris

    As others have pointed out, the local “Canadian content” is crap. If the local stations actually made content people wanted to watch, we would. For regular content, there is the American channels for that.
    About the only “good” (rather subjective) that comes from the local channels is the local news.

    As for the CBC, they lost the right to call themselves the Canadian public broadcaster when they aired ZERO federal election debates. (I imagine I will probably catch some flack for saying that)

  • jmcd102

    Even with SimSubs I still turn to a US channel. My frustration with this peaks during the Super Bowl.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Oh boo hoo! Just like the Taxi companies, if you fail to innovate & don’t or won’t give the consumer what they want/need then I say bye bye ???????????????????????????? & good riddance!

  • MleB1

    Problem is that TV stations have been allowed to use their local news and
    Canadianized fluff programming (see ET Canada, Dragon’s Den, So You Think You Can Dance Canada et al) as legitimate CanCon hours – in effect producing nothing that reflects (or stories that resonate) with the community that they serve. And networks like Bravo or Showcase have swung so far off their original mandate as to be pointless. If local or national broadcasters go off the air – and their Masters who now own them and the means to get to your home lose bucks as people cut back to the Lite package (or cut the cord entirely) – they have no one to blame but themselves.

  • erth

    this is too bad (job loss) but the reality is that this is because of over saturation and the fake economy that the crtc created in the past. this evidence proves that you should manipulate markets to produce “Canadian” programming because you think this is the right thing to do. let people watch what they want, and if you think a new program or channel is needed, create it with your own money, not the publics money.

  • hub2

    It’s a variation of part of an Irish blessing, “May the wind be always at your back”.

    Wind at your front makes it harder for you to move forward. Wind at your back helps you on your way.

  • hub2

    The only thing I don’t want to see lost with local stations gone is the loss of local news. “Local” interest news from bigger locales like Toronto and the US may hold more initial fascination, but in reality are utterly irrelevant in smaller cities. I really don’t care what traffic accidents have happened in Toronto, or who got kidnapped in Atlanta.

  • xxxJDxxx

    Millennial’s also got to grow up watching Cable TV get packed with more and more superfluous crap no one wanted and endlessly ‘re-bundled’ to charge us more for the few things we actually wanted to watch.
    It actually reminds me of what the wireless industry is doing. They’ve built up such resentment among their customers that the minute a viable alternative is available people will be jumping ship in a heartbeat.