Cable TV operators have been under increasing pressure to reduce their costs in recent years, with the costs of producing programming, including sports and music, rising in the last two decades.
The latest data from the CRTC, released on Wednesday, suggests that cable operators have paid out an average of $2.35 per subscriber for the past year.
That compares with a median pay of $1.83 per subscriber last year, according to the CRT.
However, the data shows that there has been a sharp decline in the price of cable, particularly in the first half of the year, and that cable TV operators were not paying out enough in the third quarter to cover the $1bn of cost overruns.
The data was released to mark the first quarter of the CRC’s financial year, which ended on March 30.
The CRTC data is based on data from cable operators in the five markets that have a cable TV service, which is typically provided by Shaw or Rogers Communications Inc., and which cover roughly 90 per cent of Canadians.
The first quarter was a busy one for cable operators, as they struggled to keep up with rising demand and the rise of streaming services such as Netflix.
The cost of programming has increased over the past decade, with more Canadians subscribing to digital streaming services.
The growth in subscription rates has been fuelled by an increase in pay TV subscribers, who tend to be older and have lower incomes.
However the cost of cable is also rising, which means that there is less revenue for cable TV companies to cover as a proportion of total TV revenue.
The number of people subscribing to cable TV rose by 1.6 million during the first six months of the financial year to 1.28 million, while the number of households subscribing to traditional pay TV services fell by 1 million to 2.37 million.
“Cable operators have faced pressures in the past couple of years due to rising costs, but they have continued to take steps to reduce costs, including cutting out content and adding new channels,” CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.
“It’s no surprise that this has not resulted in a meaningful reduction in the average price paid for subscribers in Canada.
Consumers continue to pay more for cable and satellite TV, and these increases have resulted in more Canadians being exposed to the high prices of cable.”
The CRT data suggests that the cost per subscriber of cable TV was $2,352 last year.
Cable operators have continued in their efforts to cut costs, although they are not currently making a significant dent in the overall cost of the industry.
The price of TV was about $1,931 last year and $1/subscriber, with $0.70 per cent for content, according the CRtC.
“The CRTC’s latest data confirms that there are no significant costs to cable operators,” Mr Blais added.
“This is the first indication that cable television operators have reduced costs, and they are likely to continue to do so.”