The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is disappointed with how the Governor in Council chose to refer the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada’s licence renewal back to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The Order-in-Council released yesterday did not address the key considerations for Canada’s private broadcasters, especially where the licence decision continues to allow the CBC/SRC to continue to solicit advertising and engage in commercial activities that are inconsistent with its mandate. This includes the public broadcaster’s branded content venture, Tandem.
“The CAB believes that allowing the CBC/SRC to continue solicit advertising across its services will only encourage the public broadcaster continue to deviate from its public service mandate,” said CAB President Kevin Desjardins. “This will unnecessarily distort the advertising market in Canada, as the CBC/SRC uses the $1.3 billion it receives annually from taxpayer funds to engage in market-driven competition with private broadcasters and other media companies.”
The CAB remains hopeful that the government will move quickly to take action, as outlined in the mandate letter of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, to update CBC/SRC’s mandate and take steps to ensure that it is less reliant on private advertising.