We have several sources of funds, including government appropriations and self-generated revenues. CBC/Radio-Canada is a Crown Corporation with 59% of its budget funded by government appropriations approved by Parliament on an annual basis.
These appropriations remained relatively constant over the past 10 years in a broadcasting environment in which costs increased significantly. However, Federal Budget 2012 resulted in CBC/Radio-Canada’s annual appropriation being reduced by $115 million. This meant a decrease in our per-capita funding from $33 to $29 in 2014—2015, when Federal Budget 2012 cost reduction initiatives will be fully implemented. Canada ranks 16 among 18 major Western countries in per capita funding1.
The remaining 41% of our budget comes from self-generated revenue: advertising, subscriber fees and other revenue. We are also facing new financial pressures on our self-generated revenue, mostly as a result of an industry-wide softening of the conventional television advertising market, the NHL’s decision to move to a single, exclusive broadcaster and the disappointing CBC Television schedule performance of some individual prime-time programs among the 25-54 demographics, which drives advertising revenue. This is in addition to continuing pressures on fixed costs from rent and property tax increases, and a salary inflation funding freeze for the next two years.
CBC/Radio-Canada is a federal Crown Corporation. All our funds are used to fulfill our public broadcasting mandate. Fulfilling this mandate (discussed fully in Section 1.1) requires us to incur specific costs, such as producing Canadian content locally, broadcasting throughout Canada, and engaging with our multicultural and multilingual communities.
To continue fulfilling our mandate, we need to be a scalable and more focused public media company, one that is more adaptable to changes in audience behaviour, supported by a financially sustainable business model.