This committee has also been given the mandate to look at the unintended consequences of media concentration. Media concentration is not at the root of the problems facing local television. Far from being the problem, scale has allowed larger broadcasters to support their local television stations. Just think of the 12 communities we noted earlier where Bell operates the only local TV station. Without the scale and efficiencies that come from being part of a larger operation, these stations would not survive. Overall, we believe that media concentration has been a positive for Canada.
Yet, while consolidation and scale have helped us to some extent—as well as Corus, Rogers and Québecor—we are no less immune to the structural decline in the over-the-air television sector than other licensees. As we pointed out earlier, only five of our stations were profitable last year, even though CTV remains the most watched local television group. We noticed, with interest, the comment made by one of your earlier witnesses that advertising-dependent media is in big trouble. We couldn't agree more.