Broadcaster Magazine

CRTC Releases 2024 Financial Results for Radio Stations

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  • The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today released statistical and financial information for commercial radio stations in Canada, as well as those operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    A total of 704 commercial radio stations offered a variety of programming to Canadians during the broadcast year ending August 31, 2024. These stations employed over 9,500 people (down 3.4% from 2024), and supported established and emerging Canadian artists through, notably, financial contributions to funds dedicated to Canadian content development, as well as to a large variety of local initiatives, charities and events.

    Total revenues for commercial radio stations were $1.6 billion in 2024, down 0.7% (-$11.6 million) compared to 2024. The bulk of commercial radio revenues came from local and national advertising, which amounted to $1.58 billion in 2024. Advertising revenues for the radio sector have remained relatively stable since 2024.

    In the past year, commercial stations have decreased their expenditures by $14.2 million for a total of $1.3 billion. As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) increased from $298.2 million to $303.4 million, resulting in a slight increase in the PBIT margin, which went from 18.5% to 18.9%.

    The 23 third-language radio stations operating across the country generated $46.7 million in revenues in 2024, up 1.5% from 2024. Ethnic radio services’ total revenues have recorded an average 1.3% growth per year since 2024, while French- and English-language services have reported declines of 0.1% and 0.3% a year, on average, over that period.

    The 2024 broadcast year marked the second year during which the CBC could sell advertising on its Ici Musique and CBC Radio 2 services. Advertising revenues totaled $1.4 million, up 27.2% from 2024. Nonetheless, total revenues for CBC’s stations decreased by 3.9% to $276.5 million in 2024 as parliamentary appropriations allocated to the public broadcaster’s radio services declined by 3.4% from the previous year.

    Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting industry, including these radio financial summaries. In an effort to increase Canadian’s access to relevant information, this year’s publication includes statistical and financial information of 14 additional radio markets, three of which are in the Atlantic provinces, four in Ontario, six in the Prairies and one in British Columbia. This brings to 29 the total number of radio markets for which the Commission releases financial data.

    The CRTC will be releasing the 2024 financial results for local television stations, specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand television services, and television service providers in the coming months. Following the publication of these reports, the CRTC will issue its annual Communications Monitoring Report.

    These annual reports allow Canadians to stay informed about the state of Canada’s communications industry, while assisting them with their participation in the CRTC’s public consultations.

    FM Radio

    • The addition of 13 new FM radio stations in 2024 brought the number of stations operating on the FM band to 580.
    • FM stations generated revenues of $1.317 billion in 2024, down $6.7 million from the previous year.
    • Revenues for English-language FM radio stations decreased slightly by 0.3% from $1.043 billion in 2024 to $1.040 billion in 2024.
    • Revenues for French-language FM stations decreased by 1.8%, from $259.2 million in 2024 to $254.7 million in 2024.
    • Revenues for ethnic FM stations increased by 2.1% for a total of $21.8 million.

    AM Radio

    • There were 124 AM stations in Canada in 2024. Total revenues for AM radio stations decreased by 1.7%, from $291 million in 2024 to $286 million in 2024.

    Radio markets

    • Statistics are provided for a total of 29 radio markets, including 14 markets that were added to this year’s publication: Grande Prairie, Kelowna, Kingston, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Moncton, Peterborough, Red Deer, Regina, Saint John, Saskatoon, St. John’s, Sudbury and Timmins.
    • Radio services in Ontario and the Prairies accounted for 63% of the total revenues generated in the commercial radio industry.
    • Advertising revenues, which accounted for 98% of total revenues in 2024, were down in the Atlantic provinces (-1.4%), Quebec (-2.2%), Ontario (-0.6%) and British Columbia and the Territories (-1.1%). They were unchanged in the Prairies provinces.

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio services

    • CBC radio services operating under the Ici Musique and Radio 2 brands generated $1.4 million in advertising sales.
    • Total revenues for the 69 radio services operated by CBC decreased by 3.9%, to $276.5 million in 2024 as a result of a $10.4 million decline in parliamentary appropriations.
    • Expenses incurred by the public broadcaster’s stations amounted to $261.9 million in 2024, a decrease of 4.7% from the previous year.