CBC programming spend spikes in 2016/2017

The pubcaster also saw ad revenues jump 20.3%, largely thanks to the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to its annual report.

CBC/Radio-Canada has released its financials for the 2016/2017 year, with the pubcaster vastly increasing its programming spend and seeing a spike in advertising revenues.

Overall, CBC/Radio-Canada spent $93.4 million on externally produced programs as of year end (March 31, 2017) on a variety of programming such as Kim’s Convenience, Alias Grace (pictured) and Anne, according to its 2016/2017 annual report. That’s a sharp increase from the $57.3 million it spent on externally produced content at the same point in 2016. The CBC also spent $4.8 million on internally produced completed programs, up from $3.7 million in 2016.

The pubcaster received an additional $75 million from the federal government in 2016/7, with $150 million earmarked for every year thereafter, with the pubcaster committing to “invest in key programming content.”

In February, CBC announced how it would allocated those additional funds, stating it would nearly triple its Cancon spending to $92 million in 2017/2018, up from $36 million in 2016/2017 .

CBC saw a 20.3% spike in advertising revenues across its English and French services. The $50.7 million increase in revenue (to $300.6 million, up from $249.9 million last year) resulted from the broadcast of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, according to the report. That said, advertising revenues from the pubcaster’s ongoing activities (aside from events) declined 0.7% overall, due to a 2.1% decline in TV advertising. That decline was offset, however, by higher digital advertising revenues.

Subscriber fees also fell 2.4% or $3.3 million relative to last year to $131 million. Fees for its subscription services (such as documentary channel, CBC News Network and ICI RDI) accounted for 8% of CBC’s overall revenue. “Subscriber fees are experiencing downward pressure from the continuing cord-cutting trend and the effects of recent regulatory changes enacted by the CRTC (affordable basic TV package, small TV packages and pick-and-pay TV channels),” the report states.

All told, the CBC brought in $556.9 million in revenues and $1.09 billion in government funding. Revenues were less than expenses, however, which hit $1.72 billion ($1.6 billion of which went to television, radio and digital services costs). After expenses and non-operating items, the CBC operated at a net loss of $7.8 million, 10.6% greater than the loss it incurred the previous year.”This increase reflects higher operating costs in 2016/2017, mainly programming related, as we reinvested in our content,” the report states.