Media Beat: Super Bowl Ad Rates, Black Press Changes Hands

Also in this week's roundup of media news: Rogers turns in a bullish Q4, Fox hits an earnings wall and Steve Paikin talks the future of news.

Media Beat: Super Bowl Ad Rates, Black Press Changes Hands
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Cable, Wireless Deliver Rogers A Robust Q4

Rogers reported its fourth-quarter net income fell 35% compared with a year ago. Costs related to its acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. trimmed its generally positive report that was released Feb. 1.

Revenue for the quarter totalled nearly $5.34 billion, up from nearly $4.17 billion a year earlier. The increase came as wireless service revenue rose 9%, helped by revenue from Shaw.

Revenue Highlights:

Total revenue and total service revenue increased by 28% and 30% in the final quarter, driven substantially by revenue growth in its cable and wireless businesses.

Wireless service revenue increased by 9% in Q4, primarily by revenue from Shaw Mobile subscribers acquired through the acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc.


Cable service revenue increased by 94% in Q4, again primarily due to the Shaw transaction.

Media revenue decreased by 8% in the quarter “primarily as a result of lower sports-related revenue associated with a distribution from Major League Baseball in 2022.”

New Developments

  • Agreements for satellite-to-mobile coverage with SpaceX and Lynk Global.
  • Satellite-connected wildfire sensors and AI cameras connected to Rogers' 5G network for early wildfire detection.
  • First carrier to activate 5G services for all riders at all TTC subway stations and busiest tunnels.
  • The report added that the company had secured number-one spots for flagship radio brands 98.1 CHFI, CityNews 680, and KiSS 92.5 for the Summer 2023 ratings period. All three are in Toronto, the nation’s most populated market.

Black Press Announces New Ownership

Black Press Group Ltd. is being sold to Canso Investment Counsel, Deans Knight Capital Management and Carpenter Media Group in the U.S.

In B.C., Black Press owns 67 community newspapers, including 23 on Vancouver Island and 13 in the Lower Mainland-Fraser Valley.

“Black Press Media intends to continue to operate its 80-plus local news publications – online and in print – as well as its lifestyle magazines and various customer solutions services within Canada, with its head office remaining in Surrey, B.C.,” the Kelowna Capital News reported.

According to the company, Black Press was founded in 1975 by David Holmes Black (no relation to Conrad Black), with the purchase of his first publication, The Williams Lake Tribune. Today, Black Press has a print reach of more than 4.5M readers across Canada and the U.S. and publishes 150 daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and websites. The combined online audience exceeds 19M users per month.


Additionally, publications and local media platforms operated by Black Press' Sound Publishing, with 30 titles and associated websites in Washington's Puget Sound region and Alaska, and 25 daily, weekly and other publications and websites in Hawaii operated by Oahu Publications.

Black Press employs approximately 1,200 people between the Canadian and U.S. divisions.

The Future Of News

TVO newsmagazine’s The Agenda anchor Steve Paikin joins host Sean Speer to discuss how journalism has evolved over the course of his career, the opportunities and challenges of working for a public broadcaster, and what he thinks about the future of the news media.

The episode is part of The Hub‘s Future of News series in which The Hub‘s editor-at-large, Sean Speer, will be in conversation with journalists and policy thinkers to explore the challenges facing the news media industry and the respective roles of business and government to establish sustainable models for producing and distributing news and information. Notable is the fact that the new feature series series is supported and funded by The Hub’s foundation donors and Meta.

You can listen to Hub Dialogues on Acast, Amazon, Apple, Google and Spotify.

Super Bowl Ad Rates

According to Guideline, a measurement service that taps into the transactional data of all six major U.S. media holding companies, the average rate for a single 30-second unit in the 49ers-Chiefs showdown was US$6.47 million a pop. That marks an 11% increase versus last year’s rate, which worked out to $5.83 million.


Fox Q2 Earnings Take A Hit

Overall revenues were US$4.2B, down from $4.6B a year ago. Net income was $115M, compared to $ 321M a year ago. Affiliate revenues were up 4%, a $5M increase, while ad revenues were $348M as compared to the $451M reported in the prior year quarter, "primarily due to the impact of elevated supply in the direct response marketplace, lower ratings and higher preemptions associated with breaking news coverage at FOX News Media, and the absence of the Men's World Cup at the national sports networks. Other revenues increased $124M or 80%, primarily due to higher sports sublicensing revenues at the national sports networks.”


Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024


Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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