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Canada. Operating revenue of cable and satellite television companies rose in 2008

The operating revenue of cable and satellite television companies totalled $10.3 billion (current dollars) in 2008, up 14.4% from 2007. It was the industry's third consecutive year of revenue growth in excess of 10%.

Wireless service providers, especially satellite providers, had a profit margin of 4.1% before interest and taxes, compared with 25.9% for cable operators. It was nevertheless a positive result for the second consecutive year for the wireless segment, which posted losses before interest and taxes between its emergence in 1997 and 2006.

The cable industry's profit margin before interest and taxes has been above 15% every year since the beginning of the decade and higher than 20% since 2004. The diversification of the segment's services, that began with the introduction of Internet access services more than 10 years ago and expanded to include telephone services in 2005, has helped improve its profitability. On August 31, 2008, cable operators had almost as many telecommunications subscribers (Internet and telephone) as television subscribers.

Cable distributors had 15.7 million subscribers to their primary services (television, Internet access and telephony) on August 31, 2008, 1.4 million more than in 2007. More than half of the new customers were telephone service subscribers.

For a second consecutive year, cable television subscriptions grew faster than subscriptions to competing wireless services (+2.3% compared with +1.5%). Over the previous 10 years, wireless service providers had always succeeded in increasing their market share.

On August 31, 2008, there were 2.7 million wireless television (mainly satellite) subscribers, compared with 8.1 million cable television subscribers.

Note: The statistics presented here are for the year ending August 31, 2008. They do not reflect the impact that the economic slowdown, which began in the last few months of 2008, had on the cable and satellite television industry.
© Statistics Canada -

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