Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – 2022 Webster Awards announced

Image Credit: Alamy

The 2022 Webster Awards, recognizing excellence in journalism in British Columbia, were announced during an online event on Nov. 3, hosted by CTV Vancouver anchor Mi-Jung Lee and Tina House, a Vancouver-based video journalist with APTN. Journalists were recognized across 14 categories including print, radio/podcasts, television and online media. The Tyee led winners by outlet with four of its journalists picking up prizes, including Steve Burgess who captured the Commentator of the Year honour or “City Mike Award.” Find the full list of winners here.

BCE Inc. has reported results for Q3 2022, recording an operating revenue increase of 3.2% over Q3 2021 to $6,024 million, driven by strong wireless and residential internet growth as well as higher year-over-year business wireline data equipment sales. Media operating revenue of $719 million was unchanged compared to Q3 ’21 as higher subscriber revenue was offset by lower year-over-year advertising revenue. Ad revenue was down 2.3%, reflecting softer TV advertiser demand and slow radio recovery from COVID due to the current macroeconomic backdrop. That was partly offset by improved year-over-year out of home performance as well as continued digital growth. Subscriber revenue increased 2.2%, due mainly to Crave streaming direct-to-consumer growth, with digital revenues up 40% and increased bookings from Bell Media’s strategic audience management (SAM) TV media sales tool. Total Crave subscriptions increased 7% from last year to approximately 3.1 million subscribers.

Rogers Communications has announced unaudited financial and operating results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Total revenue and total service revenue increased by 2% and 3%, respectively, in the quarter, driven primarily by growth in Wireless and Media. Excluding the impact of the July network outage, total revenue and total service revenue would have increased by 6% and 7%, respectively. Wireless service revenue increased by 3% in Q3, primarily as a result of higher roaming revenue associated with significantly increased travel and a larger postpaid mobile phone subscriber base, partially offset by credits granted to subscribers related to the July network outage. Cable service revenue decreased by 4% in Q3, primarily related to subscriber outage credits, partially offset by service pricing changes in Q1 and increases in retail Internet and Video subscriber bases. Media revenue increased by 12% in Q3 as a result of higher Toronto Blue Jays revenue, due to the increase to full audience capacity at Rogers Centre, offset by lower Today’s Shopping Choice revenue. Media adjusted EBITDA was up by $43 million year-over-year.

Quebecor Inc. has reported consolidated financial results for the third quarter of 2022, consolidated with those of its Quebecor Media subsidiary. Quebecor recorded consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $518.0 million, a $2.3 million (-0.4%) decrease, and revenues of $1.14 billion, a $4.5 million (-0,4%) decrease compared with the same period of 2021. Videotron increased its revenues from mobile services and equipment by $30.7 million (12.1%) and from internet access by $13.6 million (4.5%), due in part to the acquisition of VMedia Inc. Revenues decreased in Media ($20.5 million or –10.8% of segment revenues) and increased in Sports and Entertainment ($8.3 million or 16.9%) and Telecommunications ($2.7 million or 0.3%). Adjusted EBITDA decreased in Media by $18.6 million or –50.8% of segment adjusted EBITDA.

Stingray Group has announced its financial results for Q2 2023, reflecting the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2022. Revenues increased 9.8% to $77.6 million from $70.7 million in Q2 2022 primarily due the acquisition of InStore Audio Network. For the quarter, revenues in Canada improved 1.2% to $47.2 million from $46.7 million in the same period in 2022, attributed to growth in Radio based on the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions and a return to normal commercial operations. Revenues in the U.S. surged 69.2% year-over-year to $18.4 million in Q2, mainly due to the acquisition of InStore Audio Network. Broadcasting and Commercial Music revenues grew 17.0% to $44.9 million in the quarter from $38.4 million in Q2 2022, driven by the acquisition of InStore Audio Network. Radio revenues improved 1.3% to $32.7 million in Q2 2023 from $32.3 million in the same period in 2022. 

Xplore has announced that rural and remote regions will have access to download speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and more data on the company’s next-generation satellite service, starting next summer. In 2019, Xplore entered into a lifetime agreement with Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) for substantially all of the Canadian satellite broadband capacity on the Hughes next-generation JUPITER™ 3 Ultra High Density Satellite, expected to be the world’s largest commercial communications satellite when it launches in the first half of 2023. The satellite is designed to provide coverage to 90% of Canada’s population.

CBC/Radio-Canada has scheduled 20 engagement sessions to hear from Canadians with disabilities to better understand their expectations of the public broadcaster. Offered in English, French, ASL (American Sign Language) and LSQ (Quebec Sign Language) between November 2022 and January 2023, topics will include how persons with disabilities are portrayed in the media, the barriers they face when consuming content, and ways in which CBC/Radio-Canada can improve its relationships with their communities. Offered in-person and virtually, find more info here.