Thursday, May 17, 2007

Canadian Radio Local Ad Sales Grow 5.7%, Top $1 Billion; In The USA, March $$ Weak

Canada's Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) had great news yesterday for the Canadian private commercial radio industry. From 2005 to 2006, total revenues for AM and FM radio stations increased from $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion, while sales for local advertising rose by 4.6%, to reach 1.04 billion dollars in 2006, compared with $990.9 million in 2005. Sales of national advertising increased by 9% in one year, rising from $322.6 million to $351.5 million.

Profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) increased by 2.7% to $284.5 million in 2006. The PBIT margin remained steady at 20% in 2005 and 2006. Total spending by radio stations rose by 6.1% in one year, up to $1.1 billion in 2006.

Since the USA's public radio companies have already reported their Q1 results, you could pretty well figure that the RAB pool numbers for March were not going to be on the plus side. Indeed, in America, local revenues were down 3%, national was off 2% and the combined spot sales total for local and national was down 2%. The only bright spot was non-spot, which was up 8%. But that didn't alter the overall revenue picture much. Total radio revenues were down 2% for the month of March, following gains in both January and February.

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