Traditional TV consumption continues decline: report

Canadians are watching less television per week on average, with Bell Media capturing more than a third of that audience share.

In case there was any doubt, the CRTC’s annual Communications Monitoring Report shows television audiences are shrinking, with consumption hours down for almost all demographics. On the flip side, the average Canadian is progressively consuming more TV online.

The average Canadian age 18 or older watches 28.2 hours of television per week, according to the report, which uses Numeris data. That’s down from 28.6 hours per week in 2015.

People 65 and older are the only group increasing their watch hours, going up to 42.8 hours per week (up from 42 hours – a 1.9% increase). Meanwhile Teens aged 12 to 17 watch just 16.4 hours (down 12.8% from 18.8 hours), and adults 18 to 34 watch 18.5 hours (down 6.1% from 19.7 hours).

Among the total adult population, an average of 3.1 hours per week of internet television are consumed, but among the cross-section of a typical internet TV fan, that total rises to 6.4 hours per week. Both amounts have risen gradually over the last five years.

Private conventional television and the CBC saw viewing share decline slightly in the English market, while discretionary and on-demand services grew by 1%. In contrast to the English-language market, the French-language market saw its total viewing hours increase by 12.4 million total hours.

Drama and comedy drew the highest viewing percentage in both French and English (39.1% and 36.6% respectively).

Among the major broadcasters, Bell Media boasted the highest total audience share (36.7%, for both conventional and specialty in both official languages). That was followed by Corus (34.6%), Rogers (11.9%) and CBC (8.4%).

Overall, Canadians consumed a total of 579.1 million hours of television in all areas other than Quebec’s Francophone market. In the Quebec Francophone market, 219.9 million hours of broadcast television were consumed. Both markets saw modest declines year-over-year.

From Media in Canada. Photo credit Sven Scheuermeier.