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Report Profiles Canada's Broadcast Industry

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recently released its CRTC Communications Monitoring Report (PDF) covering Canadians' access to broadcasting and advanced communications services. In the 299-page report, I found some statistics related to TV broadcasting that should be of interest to readers.

One of these is a chart (Figure 4.5.4) on page 175, "Video technology penetration in Canada." The chart shows the usage of different video technologies. Conventional TV, via antenna, stayed the same for Francophones (French-speaking Canadians) and increased slightly for Anglophones (English-speaking Canadians) between 2007 and 2008. The over-all penetration is low—close to 9 percent for Anglophones and about 12 percent for Francophones. Digital television was the most popular live video source at about 56 to 59 percent, a few percentage points higher in 2008 than 2007. "Video on Cell Phones" is also listed. Use by Anglophones showed a large increase since 2007, going from 1 percent to 5 percent. Francophone "Video on Cell Phones" usage was only about 2 percent in 2008 but that was a significant increase from 1 percent in 2007.

The report includes data on the revenue from CBC and private broadcaster conventional television. In spite of competition from other services, viewing increased slightly from 2007 to 2008. Overall, the television broadcasting industry in Canada had revenues of $5.5 billion in 2008, a 4 percent increase from $5.3 billion in 2007. Pay, pay-per-view (PPV), video-on-demand (VOD), and specialty services grew by 8 from $2.7 billion in 2007 to $2.9 billion in 2008.

While the report focuses more on viewership and revenue than technology, anyone interested in the changes occurring in video and audio distribution due to the Internet and other technologies should find this report useful.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.