98% of Canadian households have at least one television set, and a recent survey showed that the average Canadian consumer watches about four and a half hours of television each day. Much of what the average Canadian watches on TV (as well as on most forms of media) is heavily influenced by what is produced in the United States, and the Canadian government enforces quotas to ensure that there is Canadian content on the air as well. These quotas mean strict requirements: all Canadian broadcasters must be at least 80% Canadian-owned and controlled, and all TV stations must air a majority of Canadian content during both primetime and during regular schedules. The largest providers of television in Canada are Bell Canada, Rogers Cable, EastLink and its subsidiary Coast Cable, SaskTel, and Telus. The most watched TV channels in Canada are CTV, TSN, CBC, and Global. It is worth noting that younger Canadians watch substantially less television than their older counterparts – a recent government survey showed that Canadians aged 18-34 watch about 20 hours of TV per week while Canadians aged 65 and over watched about 41 hours per week.
Canada is not a particularly large consumer of print news, and is comparable to France in that respect. While France’s newspapers circulate at a rate of about 190 people per 1000 per day, Canada’s do so at about 206 people per 1000, and all of Canada’s 25 most popular newspapers are circulating to fewer people on a yearly basis except for Vancouver’s The Province, Calgary’s Calgary Herald, and Halifax’s The Chronicle-Herald. Total newspaper advertising revenue has fallen from a high of 2.6 billion all the way to 1.1 billion. Two national newspapers are very popular, circulating to about 2.7 million people per week: The Globe and Mail and National Post. The most popular newspaper overall, however, is the Toronto Star. Other notable regional papers include Le Journal de Montréal, La Presse, and The Gazette, all based in Montreal.
Radio is another medium experiencing a fall in popularity in Canada, but Canadians listen to about 16 hours of radio per week, and over 2000 radio stations operate in the nation. As with television, there are requirements for broadcasters to meet a threshold of Canadian content: with the exception of some cities immediately on the American border, music stations must play at least 35% Canadian music. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is owned by the government, is one of the most popular radio broadcasters in the country. Their regional broadcasts (usually called CBC Radio 1, followed by a city name) rank among the most-listened stations in Canada.
Canadians are major internet consumers, ranking in the top 15 globally in terms of internet users as a percentage. In 2016, internet consumption in Canada increased by a ridiculous 40% from the previous year, a jump largely explained by telecom providers selling unlimited data plans (e.g. Rogers and Cogeco) and the increasing popularity of streaming services like Netflix. The average Canadian spends a full five hours longer watching videos on the internet than the average American, on a per-month basis, and more than 80% of Canadians use a desktop computer at least once a month. The most popular uniquely Canadian website visited by Canadians is Kijiji, a classifieds site for selling used items, but beyond that, the rest of Canada’s most visited websites are highly popular internationally as well: Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Reddit.
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