Audience Results - Television
While funding results in this annual report illustrate activities in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, audience results reflect the most recently completed broadcast year, specifically, 2016-2017.
Overall English-language Viewing Trends
Canadian vs. foreign programs
Domestically-produced programs accounted for 38% of full-day viewing in English-language television, down one percentage point from the previous year. During peak-viewing hours, 37% of English-language television viewing was devoted to Canadian programming, equivalent to the previous year. This is tied for the second highest share in 5 years for Canadian programming in peak periods, although the fluctuations year-over-year have been relatively minor (hovering between 34% and 38% since 2012-2013).
CMF-funded genres vs. other genres
Overall viewing to English-language programs, both domestic and foreign produced, in the four CMF-supported genres (Children’s & Youth, Documentary, Drama and Variety & Performing Arts) was 39% for full day, equivalent to last year. The peak hour share to CMF-supported genres’ dropped one point to 41% compared to the previous year, another five-year low. Viewing shares in peak hours shifted slightly towards professional sport as well as towards a slight resurgence in prime-time game shows.
CMF-funded programs vs. non-funded Canadian programs
When examining full-day viewership to Canadian programs in only the CMF-supported genres, share to CMF-funded programs remained unchanged the previous year at 51%, equaling a five-year low from 2012-2013. In peak-viewing hours, CMF-funded programs rebounded slightly from 2015-2016’s substantial six point drop, gaining one share point to 54%. Stronger viewing to documentary programs in prime time is largely responsible for this slight increase.
Overall Viewing of English-language programs in CMF-supported Genres
In 2016-2017, CMF-financed English-language content dipped to five-year lows in total hours tuned. CMF share of viewing during peak periods also dipped to five-year lows. This is a reflection of a continuing decline in overall consumption to linear television that has been observed for the past several years, with 2016-2017 posting the steepest declines in six years. With viewing down approximately 8% from last year, additional platforms for content consumption are now taking hold in the Canadian market. Perhaps not unrelatedly, there has been a marked softening of audiences to CMF-financed content this year, especially in peak hour drama and full-day children’s & youth programming. Of note, total scheduled hours to all CMF content remained relatively consistent from the previous year yet total hours tuned still declined by over 6%.
In Children’s & Youth, the share of full-day viewing to CMF-funded programs dropped by six share points to 37% , while viewing to non-CMF Canadian programs increased by one share point to 10%. In peak viewing hours, viewing to CMF-funded programs dropped by seven share points to 44%. CMF-funded hours tuned in children’s & youth programming has decreased by over 42% since 2012-2013. The decline might also partly be reflective of a steep drop in hours of C&Y content produced in 2015-2016 fiscal year (down 31% from the year previous). Volume of content financed notwithstanding, this genre is one of the most susceptible to changing consumption patterns due to new technologies, with children’s content readily accessible on alternate platforms including tablets and OTT services that are favoured by younger consumers.
In Documentary, the share of full-day viewing to CMF-funded content rose by three share points to 23% tying a five-year high. In peak-viewing hours, viewing levels to CMF-funded content jumped by five points to 25%, also a five-year high, while foreign content decreased by two points to 48%. Consumption in peak hours for CMF documentary content was nearly 19% higher this year versus last despite only a 12% increase in hours of content broadcast. A combination of stronger audiences and more airings to documentary series programs (i.e. Highway Thru Hell, The Nature of Things, Heavy Rescue: 401, Canada: The Story of US) this year seem to be driving the share increase.
In Drama, the full-day share of viewing to CMF-funded content remained stable at 8%, while shares to viewing in peak hours also stayed the same at 8%, tying a five-year low. Audiences to CMF financed dramas were 3% lower for full day and 9% lower in peak hours compared to last year. However, a similar percentage decline in THT was also posted in foreign dramas, which again points to a shift in viewing to other platforms not captured by traditional linear television measurement.
In Variety & Performing Arts, the share of full-day viewing to CMF-funded content increased by three share points to 28%, a five-year high, while during peak hours, viewing to CMF-funded programs jumped by five share points to 21%, also a five-year high. More airings of CBC series Still Standing and Royal Canadian Air Farce (New Year’s Eve and Canada 150 specials) as well as new series The Beaverton on the Comedy Channel drove some of these increases. Despite these gains, there is relatively little content in this genre compared to Children’s & Youth, Drama and Documentary and therefore these shifts do not typically affect the overall aggregate share of viewing to CMF content.
Top Performing CMF-funded English-Language Programs
The following is a list of the Top 10 English-language programs funded by the CMF and aired during the 2016-2017 broadcast year.
Three CMF-funded programs airing in the 2016-2017 broadcast year achieved average audiences of over 1M viewers. Seven of the top ten programs were from the Drama genre, achieving audiences that ranged from just 876,000 to 1.4M viewers. Three Variety & Performing Arts programs ranging in audience from 866,000 to 1.3M viewers made the Top Ten list.
The top performing CMF-funded English-language program, Murdoch Mysteries, averaged 1.4M viewers followed by Juno Awards at 1.3M. The top domestic programs overall were MLB Playoffs ALDS Game 3 Texas @ Toronto at 4.9M viewers, followed by the CFL Grey Cup at 3.6M viewers, World Junior Hockey Playoffs Canada on TSN at 3.0 million and NHL Playoffs Round 1 on CBC at 2.5M.
By way of comparison, the top performing foreign series in a CMF-supported genre, The Big Bang Theory, attracted an average audience of 3.4M viewers during the regular season, while two other drama series (Bull, and NCIS) delivered over 2M viewers on average, down from six series in total the year before. For added context, the program with the largest audience overall in 2016-2017 was the Academy Awards at 5.8M viewers (NB: this was the first year where the NFL Super Bowl was not telecast on a simulcast substation basis, which used to be the program that achieved the highest audience overall each year).
|Rank||Broadcaster||Program Title||Day||Time||CMF Genre||# Telecasts||Viewers Age 2+ Average Minute Audience (000)|
|1||CBC||Murdoch Mysteries||Mon||8:00pm - 9:00pm||Drama||19||1,357|
|2||CTV||Juno Awards||Sun||6:30pm - 9:08pm||Variety & Performing Arts||1||1,272|
|3||CTV||Cardinal||Wed||10:00pm - 11:00pm||Drama||6||1,097|
|4||Global||Mary Kills People||Wed||9:00pm - 10:00pm||Drama||6||935|
|5||CTV||Motive (series finale)||Tue||10:00pm - 11:00pm||Drama||1||916|
|6||CBC||Air Farce New Year's Eve||Sat||10:00pm - 11:00pm||Variety & Performing Arts||1||912|
|7||Global||Private Eyes||Tue||8:00pm - 9:00pm||Drama||9||894|
|8||CBC||Kim's Convenience||Tue||9:30pm - 10:00pm||Drama||13||877|
|9||Global||Ransom||Sun||8:00pm - 9:00pm||Drama||13||876|
|10||CBC||Ron James - True North||Fri||9:00pm - 10:00pm||Variety & Performing Arts||1||866|
Source: CMF Research (Numeris) 2016-2017 Broadcast Year, Original Airings Only
Overall French-language Viewing Trends
Canadian vs. foreign programs
Canadian programs continued to account for the majority of viewing in the French-language market with a 59% share of full-day viewing, up one point from the previous year. Last year saw the lowest share of viewing to Canadian content observed since the CMF began tracking this data in 2005-2006 but the modest increase observed this year matches 2014-2015 levels. In peak hours, share of viewing to Canadian programs in 2016-2017 increased by two points to 62%.
The French viewing market is now beginning to see declines in viewing similar to what was experienced in the English market several years ago with the advent of new non-linear viewing platforms. Overall total hours tuned to French television declined by almost 5% in 2016-2017 compared to the previous year.
CMF-funded genres vs. other genres
Share of viewing to CMF-supported genres in the French-language market was 40% for full-day and 43% for peak hour viewing in 2016-2017, both are slight decreases from the previous year. The most significant decline was to Documentaries in full-day viewing. This category dropped by four points to a five year low, although this change is due primarily to the reclassification of the daily morning information program Salut Bonjour on TVA from “Analysis and Interpretation” (a sub-genre of Documentary) to “General Entertainment” (non-CMF Supported Genre). Shares to the Drama category for full-day and peak-hour viewing rose by one point each in 2016-2017.
CMF-funded programs vs. non-funded Canadian programs only
When examining viewership exclusively to Canadian content in CMF-supported genres, CMF funded content captured a 58% share of full-day viewing, a significant increase over the past four years which saw a steady share of 49% since 2012-2013, although again this change is due primarily to the removal of Salut Bonjour from the calculation of Other Canadian programs in CMF genres. In peak hours, CMF-funded content captured a 69% share, tying last year’s record high since the CMF began tracking this data in 2005-2006.
Overall Viewing of French-language programs in CMF-supported Genres
For French-language content in the CMF-supported genres, there was an increase of three percentage points in full day share of viewing to CMF-funded content compared to last year. During peak hours there was a two point increase in share to CMF-funded content due to a decrease in foreign content viewing during peak hours.
In Children’s & Youth, the share of full-day viewing to CMF-funded content remained stable at 50% from the previous year; however, viewing to non-CMF Canadian programs increased by four points. In peak viewing hours, the share of CMF-funded programs dropped by ten points to 49%, which continues a trend of ongoing decline in CMF share over the past five years.
In Documentary, full-day share viewing to CMF-funded content grew seven points from the previous year to 20% (again due to the reclassification of Salut Bonjour), while peak hour viewing to CMF-funded content increased by three points to 21%. Overall, CMF-financed Documentaries scheduled during peak hours attracted 9% more tuning with only a 5% increase in hours scheduled compared to the previous year, a pattern that was also observed in the English market.
In Drama, full-day viewing to CMF-funded programs dropped by one point to 23%. During peak hours, share viewing to CMF-funded programs grew by three points to 42%, a five-year high. Viewing to foreign produced dramas increased by one share point during full day viewing but dropped by three share points for peak hour viewing with at least three fewer series averaging 500K viewers compared to the previous year. Share increases notwithstanding, there was a marked increase in prime time hours scheduled (up 29.8 %) to CMF-financed drama during peak periods that resulted in only a very modest increase of tuning (0.8%) from last year.
In Variety & Performing Arts, full-day viewing to CMF-funded programs grew three share points to 87%. In peak hours, viewing to CMF-funded programs also grew three points to 90%. Viewing to non-CMF-funded Canadian content saw a drop of two share points in both full-day and peak hour viewing. CMF’s near dominance in this genre continues with new marquee projects such as La Voix Junior driving these share gains.
Top Performing CMF-funded French-Language Programs
The following is a list of the Top 10 French-language programs funded by the CMF which aired during the 2016-2017 broadcast year.
All titles on the Top 10 list achieved audiences of more than 1M viewers, a further eleven titles have also met this criterion, bringing the number of CMF-funded programs with over 1M to 21 in total. Continuing the trend for the past seven years, Bye Bye 2016, was the top overall program in 2016-2017.
Five of the Top 10 programs were from the Variety & Performing Arts genre, achieving audiences that ranged from 1.4 to 3.9M viewers. The remaining five programs on the Top 10 list were Drama projects, with audiences that ranged from 1.4 to 2.1M viewers. No programs from either Documentary or Children’s & Youth genres made the Top 10 list.
The top performing CMF-funded French-language project, Bye Bye 2016 was watched by over 3.9M viewers, while the top performing series, La Voix Junior, was watched by over 2.3M viewers. By way of comparison, the top performing foreign series in a CMF-supported genre was Du Talent À Revendre with an average of 668,000 viewers, Downton Abbey at 608,000 viewers and Sans Limites (Limitless) at 535,000 (note that there were fewer foreign programs achieving audiences of over 500,000 viewers this year, likely influencing the drop in foreign primetime drama share as noted earlier).
|Rank||Broadcaster||Program Title||Day||Time||CMF Genre||# Telecasts||Viewers Age 2+ Average Minute Audience (000|
|1||SRC||Bye Bye 2016||Sat||11:00pm - 12:15am||Variety & Performing Arts||1||3,910|
|2||TVA||La Voix junior||Sun||7:30pm - 9:31pm||Variety & Performing Arts||9||2,331|
|3||TVA||La Voix||Sun||7:30pm - 9:35pm||Variety & Performing Arts||13||2,300|
|4||SRC||Infoman||Sat||10:00pm - 11:00pm||Drama||1||2,128|
|5||TVA||Les Beaux malaises||Sun||8:30pm - 9:00pm / 9:00pm - 10:00pm||Drama||2||2,077|
|6||SRC||Unité 9||Tue||8:00pm - 9:00pm||Drama||24||1,983|
|7||TVA||Gala artis 2017||Sun||8:07pm - 10:09pm||Variety & Performing Arts||1||1,787|
|8||SRC||En direct de l'univers||Sat||8:00pm - 9:30pm||Drama||1||1,404|
|9||TVA||Boomerang||Mon||7:30pm - 8:00pm||Drama||12||1,379|
|10||TVA||L'Échappée||Mon||8:00pm - 9:00pm||Drama||24||1,363|