Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Stingray says radio performing well despite challenging market conditions in Western Canada

Stingray’s Q3 financial results were in-line with expectations, with revenues increasing by 14.9% to $81.3 million, from $70.8 million in Q3 2018, driven by the acquisition of Newfoundland Capital Corporation and an increase in subscriptions, with adjusted free cash flow increasing by nearly 24%. Eric Boyko, President & CEO, said despite lower radio sales related to challenging market conditions in Western Canada, Stingray’s Radio segment performed well in key markets like Toronto and Ottawa. Boyko also said that with viewers overwhelmed by new TV streaming services, the company’s free ad-supported TV (FAST) platforms are gaining momentum. Total Broadcasting and Commercial Music revenues increased $1.0 million or 2.6% to $39.9 million from $38.9 million for Q3 2019. The increase was primarily due to organic growth in subscriptions. Radio revenues increased $10.2 million or 32.7% to $41.4 million from $31.2 million for Q3 2019.

Rogers and Bell have both individually announced they’ll be the first to put 5G smartphones in the hands of Canadian consumers. Rogers will bring Rogers Infinite customers the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G series, starting Mar. 6. Rogers has begun to roll out its 5G network in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, with 20 more markets to come this year. Its 5G wireless service will be available on Rogers Infinite and select business plans. Initially, the Rogers 5G network will use 2.5 GHz spectrum in the downtown cores of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and expand to use 600 MHz 5G spectrum later this year. Bell says it’s also taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G series, with first product deliveries scheduled for Mar. 6.

Xplornet Communications is building a fibre optic network as part of a plan to connect approximately 24,000 rural homes and businesses in the rural Nova Scotia municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester. The project was made possible with investments by Xplornet, Develop Nova Scotia, and the Municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester. The project will cover 16,000 homes through the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust (NSIFT), along with an additional 8,000 homes outside of the scope of the program. The result will be speeds up to 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) and future speed capabilities that exceed 1 Gbps.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and APTN have announced Damian Frazee as the fourth recipient of the Indigenous Investigative Journalism Fellowship. The fellowship provides a 12-week, paid placement with APTN Investigates in Winnipeg, during which Frazee will produce an original, investigative journalism documentary to air in May. A member of York Factory First Nation in northern Manitoba, Frazee plans to investigate the lack of funding for programs and facilities offering youth opportunities outside of gang-driven activity.

LISTEN: Canadian Association of Journalists president Karyn Pugliese is our guest on the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast. Drawing from her own experience as a news director and reporter, Pugliese responds to the RCMP’s ongoing interference in preventing media from following the story at the Wet’suwet’en pipeline standoff in northern BC and the importance of protecting press freedom in Canada. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom has opened nominations for its annual Press Freedom Award, recognizing a journalist or media worker, or institution in Canadian print, digital or broadcasting that has made a significant contribution to freedom of expression, often by standing up to government or private interests that would thwart the reporting of events or stories of significant public interest, or by advancing press freedom through the subjects they report on. Last year’s winner was Michael Robinson, a journalist with The Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, NB, whose investigative reporting exposed a critical shortage of paramedics. The application deadline is Mar. 15.

Ben Nelms

CBC staff photographer Ben Nelms is among the finalists in the News Photographers Association of Canada’s 2019 National Pictures of the Year awards competition. Nelms, who is based in Vancouver, is up for Photojournalist of the Year, alongside Calgary freelancer Leah Hennel and Halifax photojournalist Darren Calabrese, who is nominated for his work for the Independent. Find the full list of nominees here. The nominated photographs will be featured during the Capture Photography Festival held at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver, Mar. 23 – Apr. 24, and at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto, May 11-30.


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