CTVglobemedia Losses Grow Before BCE Acquisition

Canadian ratings king CTV posts losses before takeover by domestic phone giant.

TORONTO -- Canadian TV ratings king CTVglobemedia has grown its losses on impairment charges ahead of being taken over by phone giant BCE.

Minority shareholder Torstar Corp. on Wednesday said CTVglobemedia lost $145.5 million in 2010, against a loss of $89 million in 2009, on revenue of $1.75 billion in 2010, compared to a year-earlier $2.11 billion.

The media giant, which includes the CTV network and the Global and Mail newspaper, was hit hard by the 2008-09 ad industry downturn.

That came as CTV had the highest-rated TV shows on Canadian TV, including ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, and Amazing Race, and the CSI and Law & Order franchises.

The recent losses came mostly from one-time charges. Torstar said CTVglobemedia posted an impairment loss on goodwill and intangible assets of $91 million last year, compared to an impairment loss of $84.3 million in 2009.

In addition, Torstar only accounted for CTVglobemedia’s results in 2010 for the nine months to Aug. 31, just before it announced on Sept. 10, 2010 that it was selling its 20 percent stake in the broadcaster and newspaper publisher to BCE for $345 million.

Torstar now carries CTVglobmedia off of its balance sheet until BCE completes its takeover of the media company, likely in early April.