TSN’s 3.4% Profit Drop Without NHL, Less Than Predicted


by David Shoalts, The Globe and Mail  Jul. 11, 2016

By their own admission, Bell Media and TSN were sad to see the end of their relationship with the NHL, but their first fiscal year without the league’s national broadcasts was still a success.

In financial numbers released recently by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), TSN made a pretax profit of almost $100-million in the 2015 fiscal year, down 3.4-per-cent from $103.5-million the previous year. This includes results from the 2014-15 NHL season, the first under chief competitor Rogers Media’s 12-year, $5.2-billion national broadcast contract with the league.

Rogers Media’s profits were also healthy in that first season, despite all of the gloomy news about falling ratings and ad revenue and the job losses that followed in year two. According to the CRTC’s numbers, the networks operating under the Sportsnet umbrella – Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360 – earned a pretax profit of $84.8-million. That represented a jump of 20.3 per cent from 2014, when the CRTC reported Sportsnet made $70.4-million.

Although TSN’s 2015 profit was down slightly, it was hardly the calamity some predicted when it lost its share of the national NHL rights. Of course, not having to pay the NHL a huge annual fee (the average annual payout for Rogers is $433-million) is a benefit to the bottom line.

“We were long-time partners of the NHL and yes, we were very disappointed,” TSN president Stewart Johnston said of the loss of the national rights. “We certainly saw externally some question marks about the future of our network.”



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