Findings regarding market capacity and the appropriateness of issuing a call for radio applications to serve the St. John’s radio market
The Commission finds that the St. John’s radio market cannot sustain an additional radio station at this time. Consequently, the Commission will not issue a call for applications for new radio stations to serve that market and will return the application by Andrew Green, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate a commercial radio station in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Read more here.
In a victory for FM radio listeners in Mexico, the country’s broadcast regulator, the Federal Telecommunications Institute, now requires smartphone manufacturers to activate their phones’ built-in FM radio reception chips.
“This makes Mexico the first country in the world to compel smartphone makers to activate their phone’s FM radios,” said Paul Brenner, president of NextRadio. The NextRadio app interfaces with the phone to allow listeners to hear FM radio broadcasts on their smartphones via traditional RF broadcasts rather than via streaming using costly data plans.
“In emergency situations, Mexicans will be able to get public safety information via FM on their phones; even if their cellular service is down,” he said.
Read more here.
18 July 2017 – Stats Canada have released Private radio broadcasting revenue figures for 2016. The profit margin before interest and taxes was 21.6% in 2016 which is down 0.1% from the previous year. However operating revenues in private radio broadcasting fell 3.3% (-$52.5 million) from 2015 to $1.6 billion in 2016. This third consecutive annual decrease in operating revenue was attributable to a 5.4% decline in local advertising sales. In 2016, 98.4% of total operating revenues in private radio broadcasting were generated from advertising sales.
The profit margin before interest and taxes fell from 18.9% in 2015 to 18.6% in 2016, and profits before interest and taxes totalled $289.0 million, leading to a 3.3% decline in operating revenue to $1.6 billion. Operating expenses fell 2.9% to $1.3 billion in 2016. Sales and promotion posted the biggest decline, down $20.2 million or 5.4% from 2015 to $355.9 million in 2016.
Private radio broadcasters in Quebec were the most profitable in the country in 2016. Quebec was the only province to post higher operating revenues and profit margin before interest and taxes. Operating revenues in Quebec rose 1.3% from 2015 to $311.3 million in 2016. A 3.5% decrease in operating expenses in 2016 contributed to a 3.9 percentage point increase in the profit margin before interest and taxes to 22.2% ($69.1 million) in 2016.
In Ontario, the profit margin before interest and taxes in 2016 was unchanged from 2015 at 21.9%. Operating revenues ($552.4 million) and expenses ($431.3 million) both fell by 0.5% in 2016.
Operating revenues in the Atlantic provinces fell 0.6% in 2016, while operating expenses were identical to 2015. This contributed to a decline in profit margin before interest and taxes from 16.8% in 2015 to 16.3% in 2016.
The biggest decreases in operating revenues were in the West, where they fell 8.2% from 2015 to $589.4 million in 2016. In Eastern Canada, operating revenues edged up 0.04% to $965.9 million.
Alberta posted the biggest decrease in radio broadcasting operating revenues, coinciding with a significant decline in gross domestic product in 2015 (-3.7%) and 2016 (-3.8%). Operating revenues totalled $247.6 million in 2016, down 12.9% from 2015. The profit margin before interest and taxes was 17.7% ($43.7 million), its lowest level since 2000. Operating expenses declined 7.4% to $203.9 million in 2016.
In Manitoba, operating revenues fell 7.6% to $57.7 million in 2016. Manitoba had the lowest profit margin before interest and taxes in the country at 8.7% or $5.0 million, compared with a profit margin before interest and taxes of $7.4 million in 2015.
In Saskatchewan, the profit margin before interest and taxes was down 0.5 percentage points from 2015 to 9.9% in 2016, attributable to a $3.4 million decline in operating revenues and a $2.6 million decrease in operating expenses.
In British Columbia and the territories, operating expenses fell 2.8%. This decline did not offset the 4.0% decrease in operating revenues in 2016. The profit margin before interest and taxes fell from 13.8% in 2015 to 12.8% in 2016.
The profit margin before interest and taxes for the private FM radio sector remains steady.Operating expenses in the private FM radio sector fell 3.9% to $1.3 billion in 2016. The profit margin before interest and taxes edged down from 21.7% in 2015 to 21.6% in 2016, which translated into a profit before interest and taxes of $274.1 million.
The profit margin before interest and taxes for the private AM radio sector was down from 6.0% in 2015 to 5.3% in 2016. This decrease was attributable to a 0.2% increase in operating expenses to $269.3 million in 2016, while operating revenues fell 0.5% to $284.3 million.
Higher operating revenues for French-language stations
The operating revenues for French-language radio stations rose 1.2% to $265.9 million in 2016. The profit margin before interest and taxes for these stations also increased, from 16.5% in 2015 to 20.1% in 2016 on account of a 3.2% decrease in operating expenses.
English-language radio stations saw their operating revenues fall 4.3% to $1.2 billion in 2016. Their profit margin before interest and taxes decreased from 19.6% in 2015 to 18.4% in 2016.
The profit margin before interest and taxes for ethnic radio stations increased 0.4 percentage points to 14.9% in 2016, with a 1.5% decline in operating expenses offsetting a 1.0% decrease in operating revenues.
More information and tables can be found at Statcan
If you have an HD car radio or an HD Radio and you live in the GTA you may have noticed that the two big Bell FM stations have quietly switched on HD in the past few days. 104.5 CHUM FM and 99.9 Virgin Radio are now broadcasting on both FM and HD. The HD2 channel of 104.5 CHUM is rebroadcasting their AM TSN (CHUM-AM) signal, while 99.9 Virgin Radio(CKFM-FM) has 1010 CFRB on it’s second HD Channel. An HD Radio station can broadcast up to 4 different audio channels, by the way.
This is now the 5th station in Toronto to move to HD, after CJSA the 800 Watt Ethnic station, Rogers Kiss FM and CFMS from Markham. These stations are broadcasting from the top of One Canadian place, so their signals are more limited. Most of the high powered FM stations in Toronto are broadcasting off the CN Tower, but could not go HD until a large investment was made in an HD combiner. This has not happened as yet, but I am told that Bell has made a work-around and installed an HD sleeve on the CN tower.
With 2 HD Radio stations broadcasting from Hamilton there are now lots of HD stations that can be heard in the GTA, and there will be more in the next few months. Across Canada there are now more that 30 HD channels available and many of them are listed here.
All this is good for the radio industry because:
a) It makes radio cool again
b) It gives the listener a much richer experience in terms of data and information pushed to the vehicle audio stack.
c) It improves the audio quality of the AM stations that are broadcast on the sub channels in many cases.
d) It can provide a better than FM quality experience depending on his it is configured
Look for Bell to roll out a traffic service on HD in the coming months to provide real time traffic data in some cars including Toyota/Lexus, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, TomTom.
The other difference on CHUM this week is that Jay Michaels is filling in for the vacationing Roger Ashby. Jay sounds fresh and hip and perhaps may find himself in that seat more frequently moving forward.