Media operating revenue jumps at BCE

The company reported a 30% spike driven by increased advertiser spending, as well as gains from Noovo, more Crave subscribers and a record-setting sports broadcast.

BCE is reporting its media operating revenue spiked 30.4% in Q2 to $755 million, driven by increased advertiser spending across TV, radio, out of home and digital media platforms.

Digital revenues jumped 57% for the quarter, and now represent 19% of total Bell Media revenue, up from 16% in Q2 2020.

The country’s largest communications company says these figures reflect a recovery in commercial activity impacted by COVID-19 during Q2 of last year, as well as higher subscriber revenue.

And advertising revenue increased 65% for the quarter, which the company says is being driven by stronger advertiser bookings with the return of live sports and more original TV programming compared to last year.

It’s also attributing its solid performance to the incremental contribution from French-language network Noovo, which Bell says continues to “make notable gains with key demographics versus its French-language competitors,” increasing year-to-date primetime viewership and growing the TV network’s market share by 2 percentage points compared to last year.

“In an increasingly positive investment climate and a background of renewed consumer confidence, wireless, residential Internet and media were especially strong,” said Glen LeBlanc, CFO for BCE and Bell Canada.

Meanwhile, Crave subscribers increased 6% over last year, approaching the 3 million mark, while subscriber revenue increased 6% due mainly to growth through broader Crave content offering and user experience improvements.

TSN Direct more than doubled its subscriber base thanks in part to a record-setting UEFA Euro 2020: Bell reports its UEFA Euro 2020 Final on CTV and TSN was one of the most-watched broadcasts of the year and TSN’s most-streamed live event ever.

BCE continues to grow its multi-platform sports media, acquiring Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix promoter Octane Racing Group, as well as media rights for Formula 1 partner W Series. Bell is also extending its partnership with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, and is announcing a new one with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Bell has also signed or extended agreements with Wimbledon, Spanish soccer’s LaLiga, the Candian Hockey League, and the National Lacrosse League.