Canada Year Book


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    Spectator sports, event promoters, agents and managers, artists, entertainers and related industries took in combined operating revenues of $5.9 billion in 2009, a 1.1% increase from 2008. Spectator sports, the largest industry group, accounted for 44% of the total.

    In 2009, operating revenues for spectator sports reached $2.6 billion, unchanged from 2008. Admissions to sports or racing events accounted for 38% of the total, receipts from gambling accounted for 22% and advertising, 11%. Salaries and wages were the largest expense, accounting for 44% of total expenses. Spectator sports paid employees almost $1.1 billion in salaries and wages in 2009.

    Promoters of performing artists and sports and similar events earned $2.1 billion in operating revenues in 2009, a 3.7% increase from 2008. Their expenses were down 2.9%, with salaries and wages being the largest expense at $477 million.

    The profits of Canada's independent artists, writers and performers rose in 2009. Although their operating revenues decreased to $862.9 million, their salaries and wages remained steady and total expenses declined 3.4% to $593.5 million.

    In 2009, agents and managers for artists, athletes, entertainers and other public figures took in $314.6 million in operating revenues, and their operating profit margin increased from 7.4% in 2008 to 7.7%.

    Conventional television fading

    In 2009, public and private conventional television saw its steepest decline in a decade, as revenue fell 3.9% to $3.4 billion. Revenues for private conventional broadcasters fell 7.7%—the largest annual drop in more than 30 years.

    At the same time, pay and specialty television is on the verge of capturing half the revenues of the television industry. Pay and specialty television grew year-over-year in 2009, with revenues increasing 6.0% to $3.1 billion. Specialty television has been the most profitable sector of the television industry for three years. In 2009, it generated a 27% profit margin before interest and taxes, compared with a 5.7% loss for private conventional broadcasters—the first time in 30 years they were negative. In 2009, more than half of private conventional stations incurred losses before interest and taxes.

    Performing arts

    Support for Canada's performing arts remained strong in 2009, both at the box office and in the form of grants, subsidies and donations from various government and private sources.

    In 2009, the operating revenues of for-profit and not-for-profit performing arts companies slowed to $1.3 billion, down 3.7% from 2008. These were almost evenly split between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Quebec and Ontario were the provinces with the largest operating revenues for the performing arts industries with $521.8 million and $469.1 million, respectively.

    Nearly one-third of the $1.3 billion in operating expenses consisted of employees' salaries, wages and benefits, an expense item that does not include fees paid to contract workers.

    Musical groups and artists—everything from orchestras to rock groups—took in 29% of the operating revenues, while theatre (except musical) companies earned 28%. The remaining 43% was split among musical theatre groups, including opera companies, as well as dance companies and a miscellaneous category that includes circuses and ice-skating shows.

    The not-for-profit performing arts industry attracted 13.7 million spectators in 2008, up 2.5% from 2006. Theatre (except musical) companies attracted 55% of spectators and the number of performances increased from 39,868 in 2006 to 42,870 in 2008. Canadians gathered in audiences of 318 people on average to see these performances in 2008. Sales of goods and services generated almost half of the not-for-profit companies' revenues while grants, subsidies, donations and fundraising generated the other half.

    The profit margin of for-profit companies decreased from 13.2% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009, while that of not-for-profit companies fell from 0.0% to -0.2%.

    Funding priorities

    The federal government's culture spending is concentrated on culture industries, which include broadcasting, the film and video industry, literary arts (book and periodical publishing) and the sound-recording industry. Spending on these industries represented 60% of total federal expenditures on culture in fiscal year 2008/2009. In the same fiscal year, provincial and territorial governments focused their culture spending on libraries (34%) and the heritage sector (29%). Municipal government priorities were also dominated by libraries, representing 69% of their total culture spending in 2008.

    Chart 8.1 Market share, by type of broadcaster, 2009
    View data source for chart 8.1

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