Annual Cable Television Survey

Detailed information for 2000





Record number:


This survey collects financial and operating data for statistical measurement and analysis of the broadcast distribution undertakings sector (cable and wireless).

Data release - August 2, 2001


Information collected by the Annual Cable Television Survey serves the following broad objectives: to measure the financial position and performance of broadcast distribution undertakings (cable and wireless) and the economic contribution of this sector to the Canadian economy. The principal outputs of the survey are financial data (Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement) at the enterprise level (licensee) and revenue, expense and operating statistics at the establishment level (individual system). The level of detail collected varies with the size (revenues) of the undertaking. Data from this survey are used by:

a) Statistics Canada to construct industry accounts;
b) the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to monitor the industry's performance and adherence to regulations;
c) industry associations, provincial governments, Canadian Heritage and industry analysts to conduct economic studies and to analyse and develop policy;
d) industry consultants and other interested parties to prepare reports submitted to bodies such as the CRTC and the Copyright Board.

In order to avoid duplication of effort and undue response burden, the survey is conducted by Statistics Canada in cooperation with the CRTC. It is collected under the authority of both the Statistics Act and the Broadcasting Act.

Statistical activity

Science and technology (S&T) and the information society are changing the way we live, learn and work. The concepts are closely intertwined: science generates new understanding of the way the world works, technology applies it to develop innovative products and services and the information society is one of the results of the innovations.

People are looking to Statistics Canada to measure and explain the social and economic impacts of these changes.

The purpose of this Program is to develop useful indicators of S&T activity in Canada based on a framework that ties them together in a coherent picture.

Reference period: Broadcasting fiscal year (September 1st to August 31st)

Collection period: November 1 to March 31


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Culture and leisure
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Information and communications technology
  • Information and culture
  • Telecommunication industries
  • Television and radio industries
  • Television viewing and radio listening

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The survey targets all organizations licensed by the canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to operate broadcast distribution undertakings. In terms of industrial classification, this survey's target population is covered by the following North American Classification System (NAICS 1997) category: Cable and Other Program Distribution (51322).


This survey is a census.

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The annual return consists of financial and other information which is used to produce the tables of this publication. The requirements of the CRTC, Communications Canada and Statistics Canada for cable television statistics have been met by using a joint annual return, thus avoiding the further proliferation of returns by these government departments and easing the burden on respondents. Licensees with more than 6,000 subscribers complete the annual return in detail. Those with 6,000 subscribers or less complete only the ownership portion of the return and a summary giving the financial and operating highlights of the cable television system. Licensees of Class 2 cable systems with less than 2,000 subscribers and cable systems licensed under Part III of the cable regulations may submit a combined return. Each report received is considered to be a reporting unit, the lowest level at which disaggregated financial data are available and the basis of this publication. The balance sheet and cash flow statement apply at the level of the business organization. Balance sheet data are published according to the business organization's head office location. Regional aggregations are required to preserve the confidentiality of the data.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

Errors may occur at almost every phase of a survey's operation. Respondents may make mistakes in completing survey forms. Errors can be introduced into the processing and tabulation of data. Improperly coded information or errors in logic in the computer system could lead to invalid selections of data for inclusion in individual cells of a tabulation or data sets. To identify and correct or minimize these errors the methods which are adopted include an initial audit of the annual returns for reasonableness. In addition, the business organization's audited financial statements are compared to the annual return. A computer edit program has been created to ensure that the data are tabulated accurately and that relationships between records are crosschecked. Finally, rigid specifications have been devised to control the output in order to ensure that the data appear in the proper place in the tables.


Non-response is limited to very small systems. Estimations may be made based on historical data or current financial statements.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data for a specific industry or variable may be suppressed (along with that of a second industry or variable) if the number of enterprises in the population is too low.

Data accuracy

The quality of statistical information is in large part a function of the degree to which the information correctly describes the phenomena it was designed to measure. This is not easily measured but the cable statistics program has a number of characteristics that have a positive influence on the quality of estimates.

- Organizations must be licensed to operate in this industry, and completing the survey is a condition of license.
- The survey is a census of all organizations licensed to operate in this industry.
- The target population is identified from the CRTC licensing database.
- The survey content is largely based on generally accepted accounting principles and on standards generally recognized in the industry.
- The industry and their representatives regularly use the information from this survey to assess the impact of regulations and policy. It is therefore in their interest to provide data that are as accurate as possible.

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