Advertising revenue for CBC television fell 19% over a period of six months this year.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the network’s second-quarter financial statement also reveals that less than 20% of CBC employees have returned to working in person.
“We have implemented a financial contingency plan that includes reducing operating expenses, significantly postponing capital expenditures and managing programming expenses to offset expected revenue losses,” wrote CBC CEO Catherine Tait.
For the six-month stretch leading up to September 30, CBC ad revenue dropped from $91 million to $73.8 million. In the report, the CBC wrote this decline off as “the pandemic’s adverse impacts on Canadian TV advertising spending.”
“The duration and severity of the pandemic may adversely impact the ability of the corporation to meet all of its programming obligations,” claimed the Financial Report.
“It is anticipated the effects of COVID-19 will persist into fiscal year 2021-2022 including continued economic pressures and programming disruptions.”
However, ad revenues were down for the state broadcaster even before the beginning of the pandemic.
Earlier financial disclosures from 2019 show that the television arm of the crown corporation saw advertising revenue shrink by 53% over a period of five years.
Meanwhile, audience viewership is also at a historic low with only 0.8% of Canadians reportedly tuning into CBC evening newscasts prior to the beginning of the pandemic.
In their first-quarter financial report for 2020, the company also reported a 20% decline in ad revenues for English programming.
The CBC receives $1.2 billion from the Canadian taxpayer every year.
During the Conservative leadership race, Erin O’Toole pledged to slash funding for CBC’s English-language television programming and digital properties, and eventually privatize the state broadcaster.