Canada's TV Ad Industry Rebound Slows

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Financial results from Corus Entertainment, which launched Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network in Canada, and Rogers Communications point to soft advertising sales as Canada's economy stalls.

TORONTO – A stalling Canadian economy has the country’s TV advertising industry rebound slowing.

Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment on Wednesday posted fourth quarter earnings of $29.2 million to August. 31, well up on a profit of $4.2 million in 2010.

Fourth quarter revenue was up 8 percent to $200.2 million.

But Toronto-based Corus also saw fourth quarter specialty TV advertising fall 6 percent due to recent market softness, while full-year specialty ad revenue was up 11 percent.

Corus’ specialty channels include the recently-launched OWN Canada, the local version of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Nickelodeon Canada, W Network, Sundance Channel Canada and CosmoTV.

Drew McReynolds, a media analyst for RBC Capital Markets, was caught off guard by the Q4 specialty advertising fall at Corus.

"Given management's indications in July of continued momentum in advertising sales in Q4/11, the decline in specialty advertising is a major surprise to us," McReynolds said in an investors note reported on by the Canadian Newswire service.

Also Wednesday, mobile and cable giant Rogers Communications reported third quarter revenue for its TV, radio and print media division up 10 percent to $407 million, in part from increased ad revenue and subscriber fees for its Sportsnet cable sports channel.

But Toronto-based Rogers also pointed to slowing media revenue growth from a 13 percent rate in the second quarter of 2011 to a 10% rate in the current quarter.

Rogers said a slowing ad market reflected “apprehension associated with negative global economic news.”