CBC/Radio-Canada releases its third quarterly financial report for 2015-2016

February 29, 2016, Ottawa

Key highlights:

  • This quarter, our revenue was lower by $3.8M (-2.7%) as we continued to be affected by the industry-wide softening of the TV advertising market (particularly in the Francophone market) and because of the absence of revenue from mobile production assets that were sold in June 2015. These decreases were partially offset by higher subscriber revenue from French Services’ specialty platforms, growth in digital advertising sales, and advertising revenue from covering the federal election.
  • Our expenses were up by $2.3M (+0.6%) this quarter, mainly because we invested more in content and incurred expenses to cover the federal election. The additional expenses made this quarter were partly offset by our cost-reduction efforts.
  • We drew down less government funding this quarter to meet our working capital requirements, resulting in a loss under IFRS and on a Current Operating Basis.

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In its five-year strategic plan, A space for us all (Strategy 2020), CBC/Radio-Canada committed to transforming the way it engages with audiences. The third quarter of this fiscal year saw continued efforts in this regard through a distinctive content offer on TV, radio and digital platforms, both locally and nationally.

“We were able to invest in programming this quarter despite the challenging advertising market. Our cost-reduction efforts have brought us closer to our goal of financial sustainability.” says Judith Purves, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer.

“Results from the quarter show that we are on the right track, and that we need to remain focused on delivering on our Strategy. We are also encouraged by the Government’s promise to reinvest $150 million in CBC/Radio-Canada. Any new reinvestment would go into better supporting Strategy 2020: our focus on delivering quality content across all of our platforms and our plan to be more digital, including in our local presence,” concludes Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO.

This quarter, Canadians turned in large numbers to our multiplatform offer to make sense of key unfolding events: the federal election, the terrorist attacks in Paris, as well as the Paris conference on Climate Change. They were also happy to spend their New Year’s Eve with the public broadcaster: ICI Radio-Canada Télé’s Bye bye 2015 broke all previous audience records with an average of almost 4 million viewers on New Year’s Eve, which represents an audience share of 88%. (1) While on CBC Television, the full night of entertainment leading up to and into the New Year included Air Farce, Ron James and This Hour Has 22 Minutes with 1.2, 1.1 and 0.5 million viewers, respectively.

CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2 recorded their highest fall audience shares ever this quarter, with 25 five out of 26 local morning CBC radio shows ranking in the top three most-listened to in their respective markets. (2) ICI Radio-Canada Première and ICI Musique reached a record combined audience share of 21.8% (3)

Our multiplatform and multiscreen strategies are key to establishing a stronger connection with Canadians. This quarter, the complete second season of the drama series Série noire was made exclusive to ICI Tou.tv Extra subscribers before it appeared on television. As a result, Série noire was streamed online more than 300,000 times (4) and Tou.tv Extra subscription numbers grew to an unprecedented high. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women project, which paired CBC’s investigative journalism with a digital interactive website, has led to the re-opening of two cold cases, the closing of another case, as well as a national conversation on this topic.

For more information, please read our third quarterly report for 2015-2016.


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CBC/Radio-Canada defines Results on a Current Operating Basis as Net Results under IFRS less the adjustments for non-cash expenses that will not require operating funds within one year and non-cash revenue that will not generate operating funds within one year. This measure is used regularly by management to help monitor performance and balance the Corporation’s budget consistent with parliamentary appropriations. We believe this measure provides useful complementary information to readers, while recognizing that it does not have a standard meaning under IFRS and will not likely be comparable to measures presented by other companies.

Adjustments include the elimination of non-cash pension and other employee future benefit costs, which represent the excess of the IFRS expense over the actual cash contribution for the year. Adjustments are also made for other non-cash items such as the depreciation, amortization and decommissioning of capital assets; the amortization of deferred capital funding; and non-budgetary annual leave. Other less significant items not funded or generating funds in the current period, primarily employee benefit-related, are adjusted for in the reconciliation to Results on a Current Operating Basis.

(1) Source: Numeris, Portable People Meter (PPM), Francophones in Quebec aged 2 years and older.
(2) Source: Numeris, Portable People Meter (PPM) Weeks 1-17 Anglophones aged 2 years and older, and fall 2015 survey (diary), Anglophones aged 12 years and older.
(3) Source: Numeris, fall 2015 survey (diary), Francophones aged 12 years and older.
(4) Source: Adobe Omniture SiteCatalyst.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight aboriginal languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective.

At CBC/Radio-Canada, we have been transforming the way we engage with Canadians. In June 2014, we launched Strategy 2020: A Space for Us All, a plan to make the public broadcaster more closely engaged in the daily lives of Canadians. With Strategy 2020, we are becoming more digital, more local, more relevant and more ambitious with our Canadian programming. We are achieving this by promoting the development of digital and mobile platforms and content, increasing our investment in prime time television programming, creating radio programs of the highest quality, while ensuring that we operate as efficiently as possible so that we can invest even more resources into content.

Follow us on Twitter: @CBCRadioCanada

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