LILLEY: Canadians are ditching CBC, so why do we keep funding it


spaminator
+1
#1  Top Rated Post
LILLEY: Canadians are ditching CBC, so why do we keep funding it?
Brian Lilley
Published:
January 18, 2020
Updated:
January 18, 2020 3:55 PM EST
The CBC logo is projected onto a screen during the CBC's annual upfront presentation at The Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto on May 29, 2019. (The Canadian Press)
Every single time I critique CBC, I’m told that we need to have the state broadcaster, that Canadians rely upon it.
But the numbers would beg to differ.
Whether we are talking audience share or advertising revenue, CBC is a broadcaster in decline.
Did you know that across Canada, over a total of 27 stations coast to coast, the average audience for CBC’s supper hour newscast was 329,000 people? That’s not 329,000 people per market, that is across the country.
Compare that to just one of CTV’s local supper hour newscasts, CFTO in Toronto, which averaged 1.4 million viewers per night in the first week of 2020. That doesn’t include other major markets like Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary or Ottawa where CTV outstrips CBC. It doesn’t include Global News, which is dominant in Western Canada and like CTV doesn’t take a $1.5 billion per year subsidy from the taxpayers.
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These CBC ratings aren’t numbers that I’ve made up, they were contained in CBC’s most recent annual report and highlighted by Ottawa-based media outlet Blacklock’s Reporter.
Other nuggets in that annual report include that CBC’s prime-time audience share in television was 5%, down from 7.6% in 2017-18. We also learned that CBC News Network’s total audience share is 1.4% of all TV viewers.
These slumping ratings mean slumping ad sales, the report says advertising revenue is down 21% overall — the decline in English Canada was actually much bigger, a 37% drop. If it were not for CBC’s French language division having a pretty good year, things would have been much worse.
Ad revenues dropped from $318.2 million in 2018 to $248.7 million in 2019 and things are not likely to get better. Well, except for the increase in government revenue.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected on a promise to increase CBC’s base funding by $150 million a year. That promise has been met and I’m sure Trudeau will soon be considering more money for his favourite news and media outlet.
LILLEY: CBC wants more money to broadcast less Canadian content
CBC TV struggling to keep advertising dollars from falling
Meanwhile, as I reported about two weeks ago now, CBC is asking the CRTC for permission to broadcast less Canadian content on TV even as they take more of our money. As part of their broadcast licence renewal application, the state broadcaster is asking the broadcast regulator for permission to show less “mandated content,” meaning less Canadian content.
Would we even notice?
CBC’s latest attempt to get ratings heading in the right direction has seen them bring in Family Feud Canadian Edition. Nothing says telling Canada’s stories to Canadians quite like importing a dated American game show and selling it like it is something new.
What’s next? Showing Home Alone 2 and editing out Donald Trump?
CBC does well in radio — as someone who worked for years in private radio and competed against CBC Radio, I can say they have an audience and do a good job.
Yet on TV, Canadians are voting with their clickers.
Long before cutting the cord became a concern for TV executives, CBC was the third horse in a three-horse race. They were the least preferred option for comedies or dramas and the least preferred for news.
This may come as a shock to some media folks, especially on Parliament Hill, but CBC’s The National has been the third most watched national newscast for decades. Their recent reboot has only made things worse, pushing ratings below 400,000 viewers a night and at times I am told below 300,000 viewers.
CBC is out of touch with Canadians and what they want to see.
Their supporters may say ratings shouldn’t matter for a state broadcaster like CBC but if they aren’t producing shows we want to watch with their massive subsidy then what is the point of continuing to fund them?
blilley@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/opinion/column...eep-funding-it
 
Mowich
#2
"............but if they aren’t producing shows we want to watch with their massive subsidy then what is the point of continuing to fund them?"


Exactly.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#3
Interesting point. I'm in a country that never had a government-sponsored broadcaster. I see two possible uses for a government-sponsored media outlet, neither of which the CBC seems to fill:

1. The Government News Channel, owned and operated by the government, with no claim to independence, or

2. Some kind of arts & culture channel that doesn't have to compete for eyeballs and can present "serious, important" programming.

I think both of these would be useful. The problem with a non-competitive "independent" network is that it tends to attract the left, with their disdain for economic competition and their love of regulations that seek "diversity" at the expense of quality or popularity. From what I've seen, CBC is "plain vanilla." By trying to be all things to all people, they end up being nothing.

As I've consistently said, I ain't in the business of telling Canadians how to run Canada. But this is how I see it, for what it's worth.
 
DaSleeper
#4
Just a radio station...NPR non?
And it does seem to have a Liberal bias.
Or they wouldn't have let Juan Williams go!
Last edited by DaSleeper; 4 weeks ago at 09:50 AM..
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Just a radio station...NPR non?
And it does seem to have a Liberal bias.

Meh, so what?

If you're expecting bias-free media, you're dreaming.

By the way, I've found NPR (which, by the way, has a television network as well), to be more honest and straightforward about inviting all sides, and treating them neutrally, than any of the others.

And NPR is only about half government funded, and that funding comes from all levels of government. So I imagine any bias you perceive reflects more on you than on PBS (same thing: NPR, PBS, CPB).
 
DaSleeper
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Tecumsehsbones View Post

Meh, so what?

If you're expecting bias-free media, you're dreaming.

By the way, I've found NPR (which, by the way, has a television network as well), to be more honest and straightforward about inviting all sides, and treating them neutrally, than any of the others.

And NPR is only about half government funded, and that funding comes from all levels of government. So I imagine any bias you perceive reflects more on you than on PBS (same thing: NPR, PBS, CPB).

That could be reflecting on you also non?

Somehow I knew that would be your response since you have always seemed on the left side of the political spectrum!


Conservatives think Fox News is fair an balanced and Liberals think think that CNN is fair and balanced!
Who could have guessed, huh?
 

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