Canuck State Broadcaster 'Should be Ad-Free'

23 June 2006

A three year government probe into Canuck media has concluded that the state-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation should scrap commercials on its television networks and end sports programming.

Such a move would ensure the public broadcaster stopped competing with private networks, according to a report released by the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications.

Avers Senator Joan Fraser: "Such competition is neither necessary nor often in the public interest. We have to come to the conclusion that CBC-TV, in particular, is in danger of losing its way. It is trying to be all things to all people."

She adds: "CBC-TV should be a public broadcaster that fills niches that no one else can or will fill."

The report recognizes the difficulties of funding for CBC and concedes that the ending of commercials would take time. Currently, advertising provides about C$400 million ($360; €285m; £195m) of its C$1bn budget.

The report also looks at media ownership in the country. It recommends that mergers of news gathering organizations should come under close government scrutiny; and all news media outlets should regularly reveal the identity of controlling shareholders in their publications or their broadcast programming,

Reports from Senate committees are not binding and it is up to the government decide whether to follow the recommendations.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff