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No bailout for CBC, Prime Minister's Office says by Daniel Proussalidis

Nov 28, 2013

Source: Toronto Sun

OTTAWA — The Prime Minister's Office has slammed the door on any bailout for the CBC to make up for lost advertising revenue from hockey broadcasts.

"CBC already receives significant taxpayer funds," PMO spokesman Stephen Lecce wrote in an e-mail. "We believe they can operate within their existing budget."

Rogers Communications announced Tuesday it has gobbled up the rights to NHL games in Canada for the next 12 years in a $5.2-billion deal.

While the CBC will still carry many games, it won't get any Hockey Night in Canada advertising revenue.

According to a 2012 Friends of Canadian Broadcasting analysis, losing hockey would cost the Crown corporation around $200 million a year.

Taxpayers give the CBC more than $1 billion annually, supplemented by hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue.

The loss of hockey revenue has the NDP calling for a parliamentary committee study of the issue, given "how important CBC and Radio-Canada is in the cultural milieu."

"Such dramatic change in the sales of our public broadcaster — I think it's worth it to sit and say what can be done," NDP heritage critic Pierre Nantel said. "We would do that for any other employer."

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wouldn't commit to any specific action, but said there would be "interesting and exciting conversations" about the CBC's future.

"I know that the Liberal party is committed to continuing to work with Canadians and with the CBC to make sure that we have a strong public broadcaster."

© Toronto Sun