“Last year’s [Verizon] revenues of 116 billion dollars were more than double the combined profits of Rogers, Bell and Telus.”
Had Ms. Bernardo been comparing like for like — profits for profits, that is — she would have reported,
“Last year’s Verizon profits of 2.2 billion dollars were about one third of the combined profits of Rogers, Bell and Telus, even though Verizon’s revenues were almost three times larger than the combined revenues of Canada’s big 3 communication companies.”
It’s no surprise that major cell service suppliers are campaigning against an American competitor coming here. The dominant Canadian players love things the way they are and, to convince us that all is well, they’re running a PR campaign. They’re advertising that Canadian cell rates are lower than rates of American suppliers selected for comparison. Guess who made the selections?
Bell Canada profited almost $4B on revenues near $20B, a handsome 20%. Verizon earned $2.4B on revenues near $111B, a much less handsome 2%. Despite Bell’s rate of return, its business units in BC have been laying off staff and utilizing unpaid interns in operations. One Bell radio station in Vancouver promised in its license renewal to:
a. Provide a commitment to a minimum level of local programming to be broadcast in each broadcast week: 00 hours 00 mins.
Bell is happy to offer round-the-clock sports radio shows by looping content from American networks Fox and ESPN. That helps Bell stay wildly profitable. However, Bell, along with Rogers and Telus, thinks that Canadian content should be mandatory when it comes to provision of cellular service in this country.
Marcella Bernardo’s report today was worded to suggest that Canadian providers are disadvantaged compared to Verizon. In fact, they’re collectively more profitable and they enjoy returns on revenue substantially more than does the American company.
I’d wager that CKNW was simply reading from a press release supplied by the public relations group that is organizing opposition to competition in Canada’s cell phone industry.