Source : National Post
Re: Whither the CBC?, Cyril Doll, Sept. 15.
With fall nearly upon us, it appears some of the perennial chestnuts are being roasted, predicting the demise of the CBC and in particular English-language CBC Television.
Some points for your (and the Western Standard's) readers to consider:
CBC has been both clear and unambiguous about what it intends the television network to be: Our mandate is to provide high-quality Canadian content to Canadians. We are to offer the best news and current affairs broadcasting to be found anywhere in the world. And we are to provide a compelling reflection of the Canadian narrative in our arts and entertainment, sports and children's broadcasting.
Some have stated their desire for CBC TV to "return to its roots" and, as suggested in a recent Senate report, drop sports and become commercial-free. In fact, there has never been a time when CBC was sports- and commercial-free. Advertising revenues from sports and elsewhere have been crucial to CBC since its beginning for creating, unique Canadian programming. Those revenues, of course, also help offset the public subsidy CBC is provided from Canadian taxpayers (one of the per capita lowest in the industrialized world).
Should CBC compete with private networks at all? CBC is less a competitor to private networks than a distinct alternative to them. Private Canadian networks make money by buying American shows at a fraction of what they cost to produce, then selling advertising (for a lot of money, due to a large Canadian audience). This produces an excellent return for shareholders. Nothing wrong with that. But this business model virtually demands a U.S.-dominated prime time.
We have a continuing commitment to all of our audiences to speak candidly and transparently about what we do and how we do it. We make no apologies for trying to attract more viewers. If we are sometimes held to a higher standard with regard to our performance and public accountability, that's a responsibility we accept with pride.Jeff Keay, media relations, CBC/Radio-Canada, Toronto.
© National Post
Related Documents: September 11, 2006
- Western Standard
: Unplugged: The CBC 'won't look much like it does today' when this government's done with it by Cyril Doll
Columnist speculates that the Conservative government may want to move CBC toward an american style, viewer-supported public broadcasting or it may abandon over-the-air transmission.