The owners of Global News are demanding more government funding as its news media company faces imminent financial collapse.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, although Corus Entertainment Inc. has benefited from millions in taxpayer funding, its executive vice president told the Senate transport and communications committee that its news business was “on the brink.”
“News is a challenging business. Traditionally we have offset our news losses through more profitable entertainment programming but this is no longer a feasible strategy,” said Troy Reeb.
“Our ability to provide local, fact-based news in large parts of the country, in small markets, in places like the English-language minority community in Montréal, it all teeters on the brink.”
Reeb called on the Trudeau government to provide unspecified “measures to support news.”
“The status quo is not sustainable. The future of an entire Canadian industry is hanging in the balance,” said Reeb.
“It’s a money losing business in television that is subsidized by entertainment programming. It’s those cross-subsidies that can no longer be provided to news and we can only carry so many burdens.”
Reeb also complained of “competitors who come in and take audiences” as well as social media companies.
“We have all these other quotas, fees, requirements for Canadian content, requirements on independent production, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and at the same time have foreign competitors who come in and take audiences at the same time as Facebook and Google take advertising dollars,” said Reeb.
“Netflix and Amazon compete with us for audiences and are now taking more of it than ever. The same U.S. studios that used to license us content for Canadian television are now going around Canadian broadcasters to take it directly to Canadians themselves.”
In the last five years, Corus Entertainment Inc. has lost nearly 80% of its stock value on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
With the support of legacy media companies, the Trudeau government is currently pushing through its internet regulation law Bill C-11 which is designed to prop up legacy media companies by forcing social media giants to pay for their content.