CRTC Reports Revenue Drop as Canadians Move Online for Radio and TV

According to the 2016 Communications Monitoring Report released by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), revenue for the entire broadcasting sector including radio, television and television service providers dropped by 1.6% to $17.9 billion in 2015, the Financial Post is reporting.

The federal broadcast regulator says that Canadians increasingly listening to music and watching TV over the internet has resulted in declining revenue for providers.


The report highlights that the number of hours spent listening to radio and watching television on traditional platforms has dropped, as well as the number of television subscriptions.

Cord-cutting appears to be highest among young people aged 12 to 34. At the same time however, the number of Canadians watching TV online, streaming radio online, watching music videos online and listening to music via online streaming services increased.

Almost 57% of anglophones and nearly half of francophones watch TV online, up 6% and 7% from last year, respectively.

“This year’s report clearly shows that viewing and listening habits are continuing to shift,” CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement, noting that younger Canadians are straying from traditional platforms.

“Online platforms are increasingly attractive and accessible to Canadians. The broadcasting industry must ensure that it meets the changing needs of Canadians, who increasingly want to watch and listen to content on the platform of their choice.”

Roughly 8% of Canadians exclusively watch TV online, a number that has doubled since 2012 but has remained stable since last year.

Companies like Rogers have tried to hold onto cord-cutters by offering sports streaming services such as Sportsnet NOW, which are available without a cable subscription. Other companies like Bell have streaming services like CraveTV as an option for cord-cutters, who most likely have a subscription to Netflix.