Taxpayers on the hook for multi-million dollar CBC-TV bailout

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The Liberal government wants taxpayers to bailout the CBC after reporting abysmal advertising revenues. 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the CBC will get a 9.8% increase in funding for 2020, alongside an additional $33,733,999 grant.

Since the first quarter of 2019, ad revenue has declined by nearly $10 million. In 2020, the CBC reported $38.5 million in ad revenue, while a year prior they were able to net $48.2 million.

Even before the pandemic, the CBC has struggled with profitability and abysmal viewership percentages.

In 2019, only 0.8% of Canadians tuned in to watch CBC news’ evening broadcasts. 

Meanwhile, annual earnings fell by 37% when compared to the previous year.  

Each year, the CBC receives $1.2 billion from taxpayers. Over the past five years the amount of ad revenue the company has managed to earn has shrunk by 53%.

“Our objective is not to make money but to provide a service and fulfil our mandate. We reinvent ourselves every year to try and find new ways to do things because we have to offer more, but with a smaller budget. So that requires visionary talent,” said Radio-Canada Executive Vice President Michel Bissonnette.

The CBC recently announced it will be laying off 130 employees across the country. 

“As a result of some necessary changes with respect to resizing our business, a number of positions from within the organization will no longer be a part of our workforce come the end of the calendar year,” wrote CBC executive vice-president Barbara Williams to staff.

Poor revenue and higher costs were some of the reasons mentioned for the downsizing. 

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