PRIVATE BROADCASTERS’ GROUP ARGUES CBC IS DISRUPTING THE MARKET BY SELLING ADS

Canadian Association of Broadcasters says focus on attracting audience distracts from public mandate

A review of the CBC’s licence renewal applications entered its second phase Monday, with some organizations and individuals presenting their call for greater accountability and transparency from the public broadcaster.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, which represents private broadcasters, expressed concern about the public broadcaster “being market-driven rather than mandate-driven” and argued it’s focusing too much on attracting more viewers and advertisers.

“CBC/Radio-Canada’s avowed focus on a market-driven strategy comes at a significant public policy cost,” Kevin Desjardins, president of the CAB, said in the virtual hearing run by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Desjardins also said that by selling ads on TV and its digital services, the CBC is disrupting the advertising market for private broadcasters.

“It diverts from its core mandate and disrupts private broadcasters’ ability to meet their regulatory obligations,” he said, adding “the ad market right now is incredibly tight, especially in local advertising.”

CBC asks for greater ‘flexibility’

The hearing began Jan. 11 with the CBC asking Canada’s broadcast regulator for greater “flexibility” as it tries to meet audience needs and makes a bigger push into the digital world.

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