CBC wants to move to ad-free model, asks for $318M in new annual funding
The tower at CBC-Radio-Canada building photographed in Montreal on April 26, 2012. (Marie-France Coallier/Postmedia Network)
OTTAWA — CBC/Radio-Canada wants all its services to broadcast ad-free — but will need $318 million in new annual funding to do so.
The proposal is one of several the CBC made Monday in a submission to Canadian Heritage’s public consultation on homegrown content in a digital world.
The CBC says removing ads would allow the public broadcaster to focus on the cultural impact of its mandate and strengthen Canada’s creative economy.
In order to go ad-free, CBC/Radio-Canada would need the federal government to boost its per-person funding to $46 — an increase of $12 per Canadian.
It notes the amount is “still well below comparable public broadcasters around the world, like the BBC, which receives $114 per person.”
The public broadcaster says the move would also “free up advertising revenue to help private media companies transition to a digital environment.”
“The business model and cultural policy framework in which CBC/Radio-Canada operates and carries out its public mandate is profoundly and irrevocably broken,” reads the proposal.
“Advertising revenues for conventional television are down as audiences become more fragmented, ad-free content becomes more available, and alternate content providers such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and, Apple TV/iTunes continue to make inroads.”
The proposal states the new funding model would “allow (CBC/Radio-Canada) to put even more emphasis on our public service mandate, provide a more distinct and engaging offering for Canadians, and become a stronger and more valued partner to communities, individual artists and creators, universities, culture organizations, and the sector’s commercial players.”