SBD/Issue 165/Sports Media

Canadian Sports Nets Report '07 Financials, TSN Tops In Profits

TSN and French-language net RDS for FY '07 posted profits of $58.82M (all figures C) and $22.76M, respectively, while Rogers Sportsnet earned a $18.11M profit, according to Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) filings cited by William Houston of the GLOBE & MAIL. TSN's figures were "tops among all specialty services," and marked an increase of more than $10M from the year-ago period, while RDS' profits climbed about $4M from '06. However, Sportsnet's profit dropped by almost $7M from '06, a result "largely of the network paying a huge fee starting in 2007 for regional TV rights" to the Maple Leafs. The Score, which was "once a money loser, is now earning millions annually," as it posted a $5.92M profit in FY '07, up from $4.61M in the previous year. Among digital sports nets, NHL Network, principally owned by the NHL, posted a $1.49M profit, up from $1.27M in '06. But Leafs TV, owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), lost $3.43M in FY '07 "despite increasing its distribution in Southern Ontario through a deal with Rogers Cable." Raptors NBA TV, also owned by MLSE but distributed nationally, lost $879,767 last year, down from $897,078 in '06.

IN THE WORKS: Meanwhile, sources said that the CBC in "about 18 months" will launch a digital sports channel called CBC SportsPlus that will "devote up to 75[%] of its programming to professional sports." The channel has "jumped the queue ahead of the Canadian Olympic Committee's proposed amateur channel, and will have its application heard by the CRTC in July." The channel is "expected to be up and running by the fall of 2009" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/16).

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