CBC is presenting a plan this morning for the renewal of its broadcasting licences that will make it less of a public service broadcaster, and less distinctive, if approved by the CRTC, according to the watchdog group, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
“The introduction of unlimited ads on two CBC radio services, Espace musique and Radio Two, would signal the end of commercial-free CBC radio. We believe the next step would be the introduction of ads on Radio One and La Premiere Chaine — a direct result of cuts to CBC’s parliamentary grant” says Ian Morrison, Friends’ Spokesperson.
The CBC is already over-exposed commercially because of its reliance on Hockey Night in Canada to make ends meet. Both Bell and Rogers have expressed an interest in bidding on HNIC, in negotiations with the NHL next year. Friends estimates the loss of HNIC would reduce CBC’s resources by $200 million annually, twice as significant as the recent federal cuts.
“The move towards more commercialization will turn CBC into a private broadcaster which loses one billion dollars a year rather than the public broadcaster that Canadians rely upon for credible news and Canadian entertainment,” according to Morrison.