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TVA Sports: approximately $220 million in losses over the past 11 years

A few days ago, we learned that TVA Sports and RDS were doing well in terms of subscribers in the 25 to 54 age bracket. That’s good news in itself.

The bad news? The 25-54 age group isn’t the one that watches the most TV.

In concrete terms, even if younger people watch more of the two sports channels than others, it doesn’t mean that everything is fine when the age group above them neglects sports.

This is a direct result of the Canadiens’ performance. And it’s true that the 55-and-over demographic has already been treated to better field hockey than Mike Hoffman has provided over the past two years.

When you look at it, despite rising market shares, it’s hard to get better ratings because the pool of people who watch TV is less and less imposing, in the end.

Every step forward is taken in an industry in decline, unfortunately.

Of course, seeing the Canadiens rebuild doesn’t help the stations’ cause. After all, it’s clear that ratings have been down for the past two years.

And that’s normal: when the CH plays badly, it doesn’t make you want to listen.

The CH’s 2021-2022 season was quite spectacular in this sense. The CH finished last in the standings and not only didn’t play well, they often lost by big margins. Before the coaching change, that was something.

And according to La Presse journalist Richard Dufour, TVA Sports and RDS each lost $9 million from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.

We note that in 2016, RDS generated profits of $22.5M and no other channel was more profitable in Quebec. The CH played better, obviously, but that’s not the only factor.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of subscribers have dropped out, and spending has gone up. More spending and lower ratings can’t increase revenue at the end of the line: it’s mathematical.

Add to this the fact that the advertising market is not what it used to be in the current economic climate. Interest rates and inflation are changing the game, and it shows.

One wonders whether the numerous sports betting ads are tapping customers, though.

But RDS isn’t the only channel having a tough time of it. TVA Sports has also been struggling since its inception, and the current state of affairs isn’t helping.

The losses for the 2021-2022 season add up to a heavy balance sheet.

For its part, TVA Sports has always been heavily loss-making. It has lost money every year since its creation.

In 11 years, TVA Sports has lost some $220 million. – Richard Dufour

If RDS has lost many subscribers in four years (2.5 million to 1.7 million), so has TVA Sports. The Quebecor station is now down to 1.3 million, or 400,000 fewer over the same period as the Réseau des Sports.

And when you consider that Quebecor wants more money per subscriber via the CRTC, that’s not ideal.


It’s becoming increasingly difficult for both stations to make money in the current situation. Will this affect negotiations for NHL broadcasting rights in a few years’ time?

That remains to be seen.

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