Bill C-11 has been referred back to the House of Commons after receiving third and final reading in the Senate. Speaking at the Canadian Media Producers Association’s annual Prime Time conference in Ottawa last Thursday, Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez – who introduced the Online Streaming Act a year ago to the day on Feb. 2, 2022 – suggested that the government would support any or all amendments as long as none of them “weaken” the objective for a “modern bill” that recognizes that “we’ve changed the way we look at things.” Bill C-11 is the second attempt by the federal Liberal government to modernize the Broadcasting Act and recognize digital media, which Rodriguez’s predecessor, Steven Guilbeault, tried to do with Bill C-10 in 2020. Senators made 26 amendments to 12 clauses of the 56-page bill following an exhaustive review by the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications. Read more here.
The CRTC has dismissed Bell Media’s complaint against Videotron alleging undue disadvantage and preference regarding the distribution of VRAK and Z. The commission’s decision ends the standstill with regard to the distribution of both services with the CRTC encouraging Bell and Videotron to continue to work towards a resolution.
BCE results for Q4 and the full-year 2022 resulted in a 5.2%, or $0.19 per share increase in the BCE annual common share dividend to $3.87. BCE operating revenue in Q4 increased 3.7% over Q4 2021 to $6,439 million, comprised of 2.1% higher service revenue and a 12.4% increase in product revenue, driven by wireless, residential internet and media growth as well as higher year-over-year business wireline data equipment sales. For the full-year, BCE operating revenue grew 3.1% to $24,174 million with year-over-year increases of 3.0% in service revenue and 3.8% in product revenue. Net earnings in Q4 decreased 13.8% to $567 million, with year-over-year declines due to higher asset impairment charges, mainly related to Bell Media’s French-language TV properties reflecting market and economic-related pressures on advertising demand. For the full-year, net earnings increased 1.2% to $2,926 million.
Rogers Communications has announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2022. Total revenue and total service revenue each increased by 6% in Q4, driven primarily by revenue growth in Rogers’ Wireless and Media businesses. Wireless service revenue increased by 7% in the quarter, primarily as a result of higher roaming revenue associated with increased travel and a larger postpaid mobile phone subscriber base. Media revenue increased by 17% in the quarter, primarily as a result of higher sports-related revenue, including higher Toronto Blue Jays revenue, and higher advertising revenue, partially offset by lower revenue at Today’s Shopping Choice (TSC). Media adjusted EBITDA increased by $83 million in Q4.
Rogers Sports & Media’s Women in Production 2022 Annual Report indicates 51% of key in-house creative, editorial and decision-making roles are now held by women. A voluntary action plan to ensure more women have the opportunity to become decision-makers within the Canadian film and television production industry, Rogers Sports & Media says its efforts are focused on its in-house programming and productions where it can effect the greatest change. Of 74 managerial production and news roles, 31 of those positions (42%) are held by women. 80% of programming and planning decision roles are held by women, along with 58% of on-air journalism positions. Read more here.
CBC/Radio-Canada is joining forces with its public broadcaster counterparts in Belgium (RTBF), Switzerland (SRG SSR), and Germany (ZDF) to explore new ways for public service media to support citizen engagement and democratic discourse. The new Public Spaces Incubator (PSI) initiative will develop and test solutions encouraging meaningful online conversations on issues of public interest, free from harassment or bullying. The effort aims to stimulate inclusive exchanges reflecting diverse viewpoints and promote greater empathy and understanding, without suppressing perspectives or ideas. Work on the research and development project will be done in collaboration with New_ Public, a non-profit organization focused on building healthy digital spaces.
Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talks Live webcast on Thursday, Feb. 9 features Ros Atkins, News Analysis Editor of BBC News, who’ll join the CBC’s Andrew Chang to discuss the art of the viral news explainer. Atkins is known for his fact-packed news videos, shared widely across social media and BBC platforms, representing a new form of storytelling for the digital age. The free webcast will stream at noon ET. Register here.