A recently published CRTC 2017 Broadcasting Financial Summaries Highlights on Conventional Television revenues created some confusion in the media about our performance. The Commission has now posted an update to clear up the uncertainty:
Most notably: “CBC conventional stations reported a decrease of over 20% in total revenues, going from $1,185 million in 2016 to $944 million in 2017. The decline in revenue was in part due to a change in reporting methodology to exclude both digital revenue and parliamentary appropriations associated with digital activity. In addition, CBC experienced a decrease in conventional television advertising revenue.”
It is important to note that the CRTC includes our parliamentary appropriation as revenue. Therefore the CRTC’s reference to a 20% change in total TV revenue includes our parliamentary appropriation allocation, advertising and other sources of TV revenue.
As Canada’s public broadcaster, our expenses are funded by our commercial revenues plus our parliamentary appropriation allocation.
Much like the industry as a whole, CBC/Radio-Canada’s total ongoing revenues declined over the previous year due to the softening of the advertising market. But, we did not experience a 20% decline in revenues.
From our 2016-2017 Annual Report: “Advertising revenue from our ongoing activities declined by 0.7% overall.”
The reported decline in revenue was also in part due to a change in reporting methodology to exclude both digital revenue and parliamentary appropriations associated with digital activity.
In our filing with the CRTC, we no longer include digital revenues (or our parliamentary appropriation related to digital activity) in order to be consistent with what other broadcasters are providing, considering that digital is exempt from CRTC licencing.
We discussed this reporting change when we met with the CRTC before we made our filing.