General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsRegulatory, Telecom and Media News - Corus latest to announce advertising pause...

Regulatory, Telecom and Media News – Corus latest to announce advertising pause on Meta platforms

Corus Entertainment is the latest broadcaster to announce it’s pausing advertising on Meta’s platforms, Facebook and Instagram, joining Bell Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, Quebecor, Cogeco, and Torstar, among other news organizations. In the wake of Meta’s threat to ban Canadian news on its platforms because of the passage of the Online News Act, Unifor is calling on all provincial and municipal governments to follow the federal and Quebec governments’ announcements that they will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has applied to the CRTC to increase the level of Indigenous-language programming it offers, proposing replacing its existing four regional broadcast feeds (HD, North, East and West) with two broadcast feeds, both in HD. One feed would be dedicated to Indigenous language programming. The other feed would be dedicated to programming in English and French. APTN’s application says with some Indigenous languages facing extinction in Canada, even as awareness and interest is increasing, the broadcaster has a clear role to play to support and advance the revitalization of those languages by providing more programming. APTN is proposing to increase its maximum wholesale fee from $0.35 to $0.38 per subscriber per month to enable programming investments and technical changes necessary to launch APTN Languages.

CBC will have to face a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. over The Fifth Estate’s coverage of the WE Charity scandal. The suit alleges the public broadcaster repeatedly aired false claims that WE deceived donors. U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss rejected CBC’s efforts to have the case dismissed, arguing a Canadian court would be a more appropriate venue. WE Charity, which has since wound down its Canadian operations, has launched the suit via its U.S. arm, based in New York state.

Carole Vivier

Carole Vivier is among the new inductees to the Order of Canada. The CEO of Manitoba Film & Music for three decades, Vivier is credited with pioneering the first film tax credit in Western Canada. She retired in 2019. Vivier currently serves on the Board of Directors at the National Screen Institute, Winnipeg Convention Centre, and is a past board member of the Canadian Academy, Canadian Film Centre Feature Film Advisory Committee, Burton Cummings Theatre Performing Arts Group, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Film Training Manitoba, and Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, among other organizations.

Frances Bula

The Jack Webster Foundation has named Frances Bula as the 2023 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Over her 35+ year career, Bula has extensively reported on urban issues and city politics, in addition to teaching journalism at Kwantlen, Langara and UBC. Bula was with the Vancouver Sun for 21 years, and a contributor to the Globe and Mail for almost 20, covering Vancouver City Hall for 29 years. The 2023 Bill Good Award, honouring a B.C. individual or organization that makes a significant contribution to journalism, is going to the Global Reporting Centre (GRC) at UBC, a not-for-profit challenging how journalism is typically done – partnering with local journalists with specialized knowledge, elevating marginalized voices, and investigating stories that may otherwise go untold. The Webster Awards are set for Nov. 14. 

Corus Entertainment announced its third quarter financial results, reporting consolidated revenue decreases of 8% for the quarter and 7% year-to-date. Consolidated segment profit decreased 22% for the quarter and 26% year-to-date. Corus reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of $495.1 million ($2.48 loss per share basic) for the quarter and $479.1 million ($2.40 loss per share basic) year-to-date, which includes non-cash impairment charges of $590.0 million related to goodwill, broadcast licences, trademark and brand assets. President and CEO Doug Murphy cited the ongoing advertising recession, saying the company is successfully evolving its business “into a powerful multi-platform aggregator of premium video with leading cross platform monetization capabilities,” while “intensely pursuing efficiencies and improved productivity” as it streamlines its operating model to create shareholder value over the longer term.

Cogeco has announced financial results for the third quarter ended May 31. Revenue grew by 1.7% compared to the same period in the prior year to $767.6 million with adjusted EBITDA of $355.5 million, up by 0.6% over last year. Profit for the period amounted to $33.3 million, a decrease of 69.3%, while the loss for the period attributable to owners amounted to $34.5 million, a decrease of $72.0 million compared to a profit last year, due to non-cash impairment charges of $88 million related to the radio operations. Adjusted profit attributable to owners of the Corporation remained comparable to last year. Loss per share on a diluted basis was $2.22, a decrease compared to earnings per share of $2.37 last year.

CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) has released new polling data suggesting internet outages caused by weather events impacted almost half of Canadians (44%) who experienced a major service disruption (27%) in 2022, in addition to 76% of Maritimers who experienced an outage because of extreme weather. A majority (64%) of Canadians who experienced major outages had one to four throughout the year. This year’s polling also suggests that Canadians’ online habits, which picked up during lockdowns and remote work, are levelling out. People are more likely to have taken at least a one-day break from the internet during the survey period (54%) compared to the year prior (41%). Netflix remains the most dominant subscriber-based online content provider, but reported subscriptions have fallen 10 percentage points from 2022 to 51%.

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