Canada’s media landscape is almost as vast as the country itself. Made up of private and public organizations, Canada’s media landscape serves regional and national needs and also has an influence that extends beyond its shores. It’s home to a wide range of television, radio, newspaper, and digital media that has led to a robust — and profitable — industry. The total revenue of Canada’s media market currently stands at more than US$29 billion; by 2028, that figure is anticipated to grow to more than US$36 billion.
Though there are local and international players in the Canadian media market, a majority of the revenue goes to the country’s biggest media companies, CBC, Village Media, Bell Media, Rogers Sports & Media, and Postmedia Network Inc.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at five Canadian media companies, including their history, their portfolios, and what they’re known for, among other information.
Canada’s Media Companies
CBC has long been known as the flagship media organization within Canada. Founded way back in 1936, it serves as the country’s national broadcaster and was specifically created to entertain and inform the general public. It’s the number one English-language network in Canada, and, like the BBC in the United Kingdom, has a reputation for being reliable, stable, and representative of the nation as a whole.
Publicly funded, CBC receives more than $1 billion annually from the government, with funding increasing year-on-year often as much as 20%. However, it also raises additional funds via advertising. While primarily known for its television channel, CBC also has a suite of other media in its portfolio. These include radio channels, websites, and on-demand streaming platforms. And though CBC serves as the national broadcaster, it’s also committed to producing regional content, as well as partnering with international organizations.
In recent years, CBC’s demand for its digital services has grown.
Village Media is a digital-first media organization with humble beginnings. It began back in 2009 with a single site that focused on local news in Ontario City but has since branched out across Canada and, recently, into the United States.
Village Media sites focus on hyper-local content that serves local communities. If there was a word that describes Village Media’s success, it would be ‘local’; communities turn to Village Media for local news, updates, and events, and there’s a collaborative element to the website’s functionality — users are encouraged to share their views, tips, and news. The original scope of Village Media was to provide a digital replacement for recently closed local newspapers.
Though Village Media is beginning to look like a media empire, the organization is committed to upholding editorial independence for each website, which exists to serve the wants and needs of the community in which it operates.
Bell Media is one of the largest media companies in Canada. A media conglomerate, it operates a wide range of diverse media outlets, including national television channels, radio stations, streaming services, and sports broadcasting channels. With more than 30% of Canadian commercial television revenue going to Bell Media, it is the largest broadcaster in Canada by revenue.
Bell Media’s reach is large and wide. It operates more than one hundred radio stations in 58 Canadian markets, runs some of the leading specialty channels in the country (including leading sports broadcaster TSN), and runs an out-of-home advertising network nationwide. It also partners with several leading production facility providers, including Dome Productions.
An industry leader, it routinely wins awards for the quality of its content, including 54 awards at the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards. The company is committed to innovation and forward-thinking approaches, and while a significant number of its holdings lie in television and radio, the company has demonstrated a growing shift towards digital-based media in recent years.
Rogers Sports & Media
Rogers Sports & Media, founded in 1960, is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications. Known for innovation, the company has seen significant growth in recent years thanks to its investment in digital video. However, Roger Sports & Media’s current success is still largely down to its television and radio holdings. It’s one of the major sports broadcasters in Canada and currently holds the broadcast rights for the NHL. While hockey may be its number one sport, Roger Sports & Media also offers extensive coverage of soccer, basketball, football, and other sports across its television channels, which include the Sportsnet suite of channels, as well as online.
Rogers Radio consists of more than 50 stations operating nationwide, making Rogers Sports & Media the third-largest radio broadcaster in the country. Though primarily known for its sports content, the company also produces a host of news, lifestyle, and entertainment content for its channels and radio stations.
Postmedia Network Inc.
Postmedia Network Inc. was founded in 2010 and is primarily focused on newspaper publication and digital services. It’s one of the largest newspaper publishers in the country. Included in its suite of newspapers are national broadsheets the National Post and Financial Post, as well as many regional dailies and weeklies that include the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, and Ottawa Citizen.
In addition to publication, Postmedia Network also invests heavily in its digital presence and offers full coverage of its print newspapers online. The company also has many magazines and websites in its portfolio. In all, Postmedia Network operates more than 130 brands that reach millions of people every day. The company is known for its high journalistic integrity and innovative approach to news publication.
As we’ve seen, Canada’s media landscape is a rich tapestry of diverse mediums that serve the country’s diverse needs. From national television channels to local websites and radio shows, Canada’s media companies have shown a commitment to representing national and local needs, as well as navigating changing consumer demands. With more media companies shifting to innovative digital solutions, it’ll be interesting to see how the landscape continues to change and adapt in the coming years.