CBC/Radio-Canada announced its 2014-2015 budget. Due to market realities, the plan includes immediate cuts of $130 million and the equivalent of 657 positions over the next two fiscal years. The corporation is also incurring one-time severance costs of $33.5 million.
“Today, we have made the tough decisions necessary to balance our current budget” said Hubert Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “As the media landscape changes, CBC/Radio-Canada will also need to re-imagine itself in order to continue delivering on the mandate with which we were entrusted over 75 years ago.”
CBC/Radio-Canada is faced with financial challenges ranging from an industry-wide softening of the advertising market, disappointing schedule performance in key demographics on CBC Television, much lower-than-expected ad revenues from Espace musique and CBC Radio 2, and the NHL’s decision to move to a single, exclusive broadcaster. These reductions are in addition to significant pressures already managed by the Corporation since 2008/2009, due in part to actions surrounding the Deficit Reduction Action Plan and the elimination of the Local Programming Improvement Fund.
CBC and Radio-Canada says it will no longer compete with private broadcasters for professional sports rights. They will also cover fewer events and fewer sports. In addition, involvement in amateur sports will be reduced. “We will only broadcast events that allow us to break even.”
They remain committed to signature events of national importance such as the Olympics; but, as with Sochi, they’ll approach these events in new ways – new ways of producing, new technologies and new partnership arrangements.
For ad sales, CBC and Radio-Canada will consolidate their revenue groups and present a Canada-wide multiplatform ad offering.
CBC/Radio-Canada will maintain its presence and news-gathering capabilities in the regions. However, planned expansions have been cancelled, including plans for a station in London, Ontario.