Rogers’ media revenues hit by sports broadcasts delays

The company reports a 23% drop in segment revenues for Q4, contributing to an overall dip in net income.

Total revenue at Rogers fell 7% for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, with media revenues suffering the greatest hit as a result of delays in live professional sports broadcasting.

The company reported quarterly revenues of $3.68 billion, down from $3.95 billion for the same period a year prior. Net income for the period came in at $449 million, a drop of 4% year-over-year.

Media revenues fell 23%, from $530 million in Q4 2019 to $409 million this year, with Rogers attributing the decline to the postponement of the 2020-2021 NHL and NBA seasons – which usually begin early in the fourth quarter – as well as COVID-19-related “softness in the advertising market.” However, losses in the business segment were partially offset by greater revenue at Today’s Shopping Choice (formerly The Shopping Channel).

Margins also increased for the period, with Rogers reporting an adjusted EBITDA increase of $60 million, as a result of lower programming and production costs associated with the delayed start of major sports leagues, as well as a general drop in operating costs. Total operating expenses for Q4 dropped 36%, giving rise to a margin increase of 20% in the media segment.

Media revenues for the 2020 fiscal year totalled $1.6 billion, down 22% from the $2.07 billion reported the year before, largely due to the impact of pandemic disruption in advertising buys, in addition to delayed start dates for sports.

The company reported Q4 wireless revenues of $2.3 billion, down 8% year-over-year, with an increase of 3% in cable revenues, which grew slightly to $1.01 billion.