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Annual report 2013-2014 Going the Distance

2013—2014 Results – English Services festival
Credit: JJ Thompson

English Services’ performance in 2013—2014 met or exceeded many of its targets, but underperformed on a few measures, most notably revenue.

For CBC Radio, the fall diary survey yielded excellent results. CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2 combined achieved a total share of 15.5%, which significantly exceeded targets and which also represented an increase over the prior year’s performance. 

CBC Television’s prime-time audience share ended the regular season at 8.3%1, higher than the target of 8.1%. This share was considerably higher than the prior year’s 6.8%, which was adversely affected by the absence of NHL hockey for 15 weeks.

CBC News Network’s audience share was above target and higher than in 2012—2013. Share performance was strongly influenced by news events such as the Boston marathon bombing, politics in Toronto and other cities, the birth of the British royal baby and weather disasters in Calgary and Southern Ontario.

Our regional performance indicators fell short of annual targets. For local radio, weakness in certain markets (especially Western Canada) caused performance to be down by 6 percentage points compared to both target and prior year. For local television, performance remained essentially flat year-over-year, missing the target mainly because of weaker audiences in the last half-hour of the local supper-time newscasts.

Average monthly unique visitors to regional web landing pages also fell short of expectations; it was 3% lower than last year and 5% below target. In 2014—2015, this indicator will be measured by unique visitors to all regional content, rather than just to regional landing pages. We’re making this change because audiences are increasingly accessing content directly, for example through search engines or social media referrals.

By contrast,’s monthly average unique visitors completed the year significantly above the annual target. This was driven by events of major international and national interest, such as severe weather events, domestic politics and international terrorism, as well as other CBC audio and video content.

Subscriber levels on our specialty television channels ended the year essentially flat year-over-year as anticipated in our targets, with CBC News Network up by 0.1 million to target (and flat year-over-year) and documentary flat to target and prior year.

Revenue for the year exceeded the prior year, driven by the return of Hockey Night in Canada to CBC Television in the fall of 2013. However, revenue failed to meet expectations, largely because of weakening advertising revenue performance in the latter part of 2013—2014 as well as on the underperformance of certain CBC programs within the 25-54 demographic compared to selling estimates. This underperformance has contributed to financial difficulties within English Services, as discussed in Section 4.4 Outlook.

Performance Table – English Services

    Past Performance   Future
Annual Targets
Annual Results
Annual Results
  Annual Targets
Radio Networks
CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2
All day audience share1 14.6% 15.5% 15.3%   15.6%
CBC Television
  Prime-time audience share
Regular season,
8.1% 8.3% 6.8%   N/A
Prime-time audience share
Regular season, Monday-Friday & Sunday2,3
N/A N/A N/A   6.4%
CBC News Network          
All day audience share
1.4% 1.6% 1.3%   1.6%
CBC Radio One morning shows
Average weekly hours tuned
Regular season3
5.5 million 5.2 million 5.5 million   5.2 million
TV supper and late-night news          
Average weekly hours tuned
Regular season3
3.9 million 3.7 million 3.7 million   3.7 million
Regional web home pages4          
Monthly average unique visitors April-March5 0.995 million 0.941 million 0.971 million   N/A
Regional content4          
Monthly average unique visitors April-March5 N/A N/A N/A   3.7 million
New Platforms
Monthly average unique visitors April-March5 6.5 million 7.1 million 6.3 million   7.0 million
Specialty Television Channels
CBC News Network
Subscribers 11.2 million 11.3 million 11.3 million   11.2 million
Subscribers 2.7 million 2.7 million 2.7 million   2.7 million
Conventional, specialty, online
$400 million $390 million $362 million   $298 million
N/A Not available or not applicable

1. Source: BBM Canada, fall survey (diary), persons aged 12 years and older.

2. Under a contractual agreement starting in the 2014—2015 Regular Season, on Saturday evenings, CBC will broadcast programming produced and owned by Rogers Communications Inc., over which CBC has no editorial control. As such, this Saturday evening programming will no longer be considered as part of the new performance target shown in the table above nor of actual results for 2014—2015. In 2013—2014 and in prior years, when the programming was either produced or acquired by CBC, this time period was included in performance evaluation.

3. Source: BBM Canada, Portable People Meter (PPM), persons aged 2 years and older. / CBC Television, Regular Season 2013—2014 to date, weeks 6-33, excluding weeks 25-26. / CBC News Network, Fiscal Year 2013—2014 to date, weeks 32+ for broadcast year 2012—2013 and weeks 1-31 for broadcast year 2013—2014. CBC Radio One Morning Shows: regular season 2013—2014 to date, weeks 2-30. / CBC Television Supper & Late Night (Mon-Fri): regular season 2013—2014 to date, weeks 1-33, excluding weeks 25-26.

4. In 2014 —20 15, this metric will be measured by monthly average unique visitors to any/all regional content , rather than being limited to regional home page s (i.e. landing page s ) . Changing audience behaviour, such as the trend to accessing content directly by searches or through social media referrals, has taken away the meaningfulness of the landing page concept as a metric in this context. Therefore, the new measurement will accommodate this audience trend.

5. Source: comScore, persons aged 2 years and older. Note that for an 11 month average excluding February 2014 (the month of the Olympics), the monthly average was 6.9 million unique visitors.

6. Revenue for documentary is reported at 100% although CBC/Radio-Canada owns 82%. Includes revenue from LPIF, a fund created by the CRTC to support local programming. Amounts reflect the phase out of the fund over three years ending August 31, 2014.

Strategy 2015 Future directions – English Services

Similar to Radio-Canada, 2014—2015 will present new and unique financial and performance challenges for CBC as outlined in the April 10, 2014 budgetary announcements.

One major organizational change in 2014—2015 is the decision of the NHL to grant to Rogers exclusive hockey broadcasting rights for 12 years, and the transition to a new four-year agreement under which CBC Television will broadcast NHL hockey games from Rogers. However, all of CBC’s properties on television, radio and digital will continue to deliver against current strategy and transition into the new strategy, to be announced at the beginning of the summer, that will take the organization to 2020.

We will focus and redirect resources on fewer key brands and properties, and adjust support appropriately for other content, with an emphasis on culturally distinctive and uniquely Canadian stories. In this way, 2014—2015 will be a “bridge year” as we redefine the organization with a new and sustainable business model.

More distinctly Canadian

CBC will continue to offer distinctive and quality Canadian programming to our audiences.

On CBC Television, we will also be offering audiences some international “best of the world” content in prime time on
CBC Television to complement our predominantly Canadian schedule.

On Radio, we will strive to maintain a leadership position in local programming, and continue to provide national programming of interest and relevance to Canadians.

CBC News will continue to broaden and grow audiences through original journalism and breaking news coverage.

CBC will also continue to offer signature events throughout the year, such as the FIFA World Cup of soccer, Canada Day celebrations and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Nevertheless, programming will be affected by limited financial resources and this is reflected in our performance targets. CBC Television will be measured excluding Saturday prime time with the target as noted above. CBC News Network is targeting to maintain its share in 2014—2015 compared to 2013—2014, which represents maintaining the +0.3% share increase in 2013—2014 over 2012—2013. Finally, for CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2 combined, our target is to increase share above 2013—2014’s performance.

More regional

CBC remains committed to our local community connections in all currently existing stations and regions on television, on radio and digitally. CBC is also connecting Canadians through a mix of local, regionally representative and cross-regional expression in addition to local programming on all platforms.

Our regional performance targets reflect growing (on radio and online, the latter with a new and more accurate measure) and maintaining (on television) performance compared to the results in 2013—2014.

More digital

To remain relevant to Canadians, we will offer our audiences access to programming and content on digital platforms and adapt to their changing preferences. At the same time, we will ensure existing digital distribution is available.

Our performance target for 2014—2015, as in the past, reflects the available data for desktop unique visitors and we have targeted an increase compared to 2013—2014 (adjusted for the exceptionally high February 2014 Olympic month).


1. The regular season excludes the full Olympic weeks because this event is an unusually large viewing experience that is
un-representative of on-going programming and audience results.