The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Corus Entertainment blames kids TV for weakness in its second-quarter results

  • Print

TORONTO - Corus Entertainment is blaming the kids for a chunk of the weakness it experienced during the second quarter as it suffered from a slide in advertising revenues in its television business.

The TV, radio and animation company reported a double-digit decline in revenue and weaker profits that it characterized as "softness," but it was tough to nail down exactly where the company stumbled most.

Executives pointed towards numerous factors related to its TV ad revenue, which fell 12 per cent on a tepid response from advertisers for children's programming.

"Virtually all of that was related to the entertainment space which just was a real disappointment to us in the quarter," chief executive John Cassaday told analysts on a conference call.

"A problem well-defined is a problem half-solved and to define the specific problem, it was kids and then more specifically, the entertainment sector."

Corus operates a slate of specialty television channels, including YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon Canada, ABC Spark, which cater to children and family shows. It also owns the W Network, the Canadian version of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Cosmopolitan TV. Together, the kids and women's programming channels make up a notable chunk of its operations.

The company also owns 37 radio stations, children's book publishing, and animation assets.

In the second quarter, the company's profits attributable to shareholders fell nearly 26 per cent to $5.9 million or seven cents per diluted share in the three months ended Feb. 28, as it recognized a $25-million pre-tax debt refinancing charge. The results were down from $31.6 million on 38 cents in the 2012 period that ended Feb. 29.

Revenue totalled $183.7 million, down 11 per cent from $205.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Shareholders responded to the results by sending the stock (TSX:CJR.B) down four per cent, or $1.02, to close at $24.60 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Breaking down the results, television revenue dropped to $143.4 million from $163.3 million.

But radio revenues were also lower, falling to $40.3 million from $42.4 million a year earlier.

Cassaday pointed to the "expected" fading popularity of the Beyblade toy franchise for part of the weakness in its television division. The toy, which is essentially a series of spinning tops that spawned a line of toys and a TV show, once added millions of dollars to the company's pocket each quarter. In the second quarter, the company declined to breakout exactly how much — or how little — the Beyblade toys and programming contributed to the results.

"We probably wouldn't share that information," Cassaday told an analyst who pressed for details.

He noted that a highlight of the quarter was the successful refinancing of Corus' senior unsecured guaranteed notes that resulted in a 300 basis point reduction in financing costs.

Corus said removing the debt refinancing charge, adjusted net income attributable to shareholders in the quarter was $24.4 million, or 29 cents per diluted share.

Last month, after the second quarter ended, Corus signed a deal to buy the 50 per cent ownership interest in Teletoon and two Ottawa-based radio stations, CKQB-FM and CJOT-FM that it does not already own from Bell as part of that company's deal to acquire Astral Media Inc.

Corus also agreed with Bell and Shaw Media to buy each of their respective 50 per cent interests in the French-language specialty channels Historia and Series+.

Separately, the company signed a deal with Shaw Media to buy the remaining 49 per cent stake in ABC Spark. As part of the agreement, Corus will sell its 20 per cent stake in Food Network Canada to Shaw Media.

Also on Thursday, fellow TV media company Astral (TSX:ACM.A) delivered notably better results. The company posted $41.2 million in net earnings in its second quarter, up eight per cent from $38.2 million in the year earlier period.

Revenue increased to $237.1 million from $233.5 million.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets this week - Game 2 with Tim and Gary

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google