Financialization and the ‘Crisis of the Media’: The Rise and Fall of (Some) Media Conglomerates in Canada

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1 All of the ‘big 10’ firms, except CTVglobemedia after 2006 and the CBC, are publicly-traded companies. All of the tables, figures and data in this paper are based on their annual reports, Bloomberg, FP Infomart and Mergent profiles, industry association reports, CRTC monitoring reports, etc., unless otherwise stated. Citing these sources for each use would clutter the text, but readers can check my analysis against these sources. Only revenues from Canada and sectors that fit the definition of the network media industries established at the outset of this paper are included. Bell figures include its DTH service, Internet Access, and the CTV and Globe & Mail between 2000 and 2006. Data for CTVglobemedia is more limited after 2006 because it changed ownership and became a privately held company at this time.

2 The latter, however, has been deferred to the federal courts to ensure that the CRTC has the authority to regulate ‘new media’ in this way.

3 Unless otherwise noted, all dollar values are in real dollar terms, adjusted to 2010 as the base year. Using current dollars would make my arguments easier by showing even more pronounced growth.

4 Connectivity includes spending on telephone, cellphone and Internet access services and computers. The ‘media content and culture’ category covers cable and satellite subscriptions, newspapers, magazines, movie theatres, audiovisual equipment and attendance at sports, arts and culture events.

5 Bell sold 55% of its stake in the re-branded CTVglobemedia for approximately $1 billion -- $685 million for the CTV portion and an estimated $300 million for the Globe & Mail. Altogether, this was about ½ of the value of $4 billion originally assigned to the entity in 2000 (Bell, 2001, p. 32; CRTC, 2007b).

6 Data for magazines is incomplete, so specific firm revenues are not reflected, except for Rogers ($184m), which is placed under newspapers. Magazine sector revenues ($2,394m) are included in the total revenues for the ‘network media’. Including magazine revenues for specific firms, notably Quebecor, would raise the big 10’s share of total revenue.

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