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Cable, satellite firms boost profits Add to ...

Canadian cable and satellite distribution companies continued to increase their revenues and profits throughout 2010, according to a new report from Canada's telecom and broadcast regulator.

Even as sectors of the North American economy felt the residual after effects of the recent devastating recession, cable and satellite companies managed to push through price increases while simultaneously growing the number of total subscribers, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

In 2010, total revenues for the sector increased by more than one billion dollars to $12.5-billion, up from $11.4-billion in 2009, as companies such as Shaw Communications Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. remained and expanded their dominant positions as gateways to the video entertainment.

Although they are being challenged by enormously popular online video services such as Netflix, which launched in September of 2010 and has since gained more than 800,000 subscribers here, most Canadians do not appear to have cut the cord that year.

At the same time, some telecom companies expect the huge growth of online video growth will lead to greater revenues and profit from their high-speed Internet divisions - particularly Telus Corp., which does not own any broadcast or media properties, like its rivals Rogers, Bell, Shaw and Quebecor Inc.

Satellite TV services, such as BCE Inc.'s Bell TV and Shaw Direct, meanwhile, increased revenues by nearly 9 per cent to $2.4-billion.

Despite the fact that operating costs increased by 9 per cent to $5.5-billion, cable and satellite companies also increased their total amount of profit, before interest and taxes. Cable companies pulled in $2.5-billion in 2010, compared to $2.3-billion in 2009, while satellite companies reaped $163-million, according to the CRTC.

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