Profits at Canada's private TV broadcasters fell by almost two-thirds in 2006, largely because ad revenue was flat and they spent a lot more on American programming, CRTC figures show.
The private sector's profits before interest and taxes came to $91 million last year, the broadcast regulator said Wednesday. They were $242 million in 2005.
Yes profits slumped...but they still made money. All this says is that once reliable and predictable ways of generating profits are changing as audiences find new and different ways to entertain themselves.
The big reason for the drop was the double-digit increase in the amount they spent on programming — especially non-Canadian programs. The lion's share of the private broadcasters' foreign program spending went for drama shows — $478.6 million.
Spending on Canadian programming rose 6.3 per cent to $623.7 million.
Canadian spending by the private sector included:
$328.1 million on news programming.
$101.6 million on general interest programs.
$73.9 million on drama.
$66.3 million on other information programs.
$35 million for musical and variety shows.
$9.3 million for sports shows.
$5.7 million for game shows.
The CRTC said local and national advertising brought in about $1.9 billion for the private TV broadcasters last year, the same as 2005.
Only 73.9 million on homegrown drama? Versus nearly 500 million on imports? Bigger sigh. And that's for ALL drama on Canadian private net TV, yet we know Hart Hanson and Bones received nearly 60 million from Twentieth Century Fox to make ONE season (22 episodes) of ONE drama series.
Forget about our viewers inbred resentment and resistence toward Canadian product or the near absence of a star system or any successful marketing machines...if that doesn't clearly show you (or Jim Shaw) the difficulty in making anything dramatic in this country that might have the quality or substance or production values people have come to expect, I don't know what does.
EDIT: Just noticed that Caroline had posted a version of same report earlier today, one that included these figures:
In 2006, the private conventional television industry employed 8,197 people and paid a total of $593.6 million in salaries.
WTF? The salaries for those who work at the private nets nearly equals what they spend on Canadian drama and foreign program buys combined? What does that tell you? Do you think for a moment that the salary totals of the major U.S. nets even comes close to what they spend on development and programming? Or if it does (which I doubt), it would only be if it was tied into bonuses for generating and delivering hits...not for primarily buying shows from other countries and airing them.
Okay...mini rant over.