Canadian programming can make money for Canadian b’casters: report

Domestic Canadian programming is discount by advertisers, but Canadian broadcasters cannot justifiably claim it is uneconomic to invest in local content, according to new research from Nordicity Group.

Detailed analysis of the economic case for Canadian broadcasters to air local shows, reveals, Nordicity says, that they invariably generate a profit, especially for the large vertically integrated media groups that own broadcast and specialty (pay TV) networks.

Canadian commercial broadcaster are likely to record a deficit from the first run of a local series on their broadcast network, but will usually end up making a profit once rights for multiple airings and to transmit the shows on specialty networks are factored in, Nordicity says. Specifically, a show with 700,000 viewers will lose C$138,264 over its initial run, but generate a C$5,416 surplus after transmitting on a specialty channel and more revenue for each airing thereafter.

A half-hour comedy, with a 400,000 audience, would generate a deficit of CS125,254 over its initial run and a surplus of C$1,886 once it hit specialty channels.

“While the number of airings in the conventional window has in the past been limited, this has changed over recent years as broadcasters demand unlimited plays within broadcast lincese agreements,” Nordicity noted. “Moreover, the specialty television window gives Canadian broadcasting groups the opportunity to reach breakeven and earn profits from Canadian programming.”

The report was conducted for Canadian TV industry advcacy group ACTRA.