Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications sees first-quarter slip
Rogers Communications, who own the Toronto Blue Jays, reported their first-quarter profits on Monday that included a 3% loss from this time in 2015
Rogers Communications Inc. has posted losses in their 2016 first-quarter profits, and as Christine Dobby of the Globe and Mail reports, lower advertising revenue and the costs of restructures related to layoffs at Rogers’ media division are primarily to blame.
Over the first three months of 2016, Rogers saw their profit fall three percent to $248 million. In that same period in 2015, profits were reported at $255 million.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, following the Blue Jays unexpected playoff run that flooded Rogers’ Sportsnet platforms (both digital and television) with viewers and traffic, the company still did not reach their estimated revenue levels at the time.
That period of October 1st to December 31st saw net revenues climb from the same point the year prior, but they also saw their adjusted operating profit fall while much of their excess revenue was offset by “soft ad sales for conventional TV and print publications.”
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Rogers chief executive officer Guy Laurence said that he expects the company’s current restructuring to be completed by the end of this current quarter. In January, Rogers announced they were cutting 200 jobs from their media division.
“In contrast, sports revenues, which represent about half of the media segment, continue to grow,” Laurence told Dobby and reporters on Tuesday.
Laurence added that advertising revenues for the Blue Jays have been “better than we expected,” but that revenues for their NHL hockey coverage are “up, but still not quite where we expected it to be.” The absence of any Canadian teams in the ongoing NHL playoffs could make the second quarter difficult on that front.
Television audiences for Toronto’s broadcasts on Sportsnet have been extremely high throughout April, setting several records for early in the season. Rogers has also recently rolled out Sportsnet NOW, a direct-to-consumer subscription service that allows customers to stream all Sportsnet channels without purchasing a full cable package.
Before taking full control of the Blue Jays in 2004, Rogers owned an 80% share with Interbrew, who was the team’s majority owner from 1995 to 2000, holding the remaining 20%.