Monday, February 1, 2010

CBC Newsworld "In and Out" Expense Financing?

As a "wholly owned specialty network", the 2005 Auditor General Report on the CBC states that "two 24 hour news and information television services financed by cable subscriptions and advertising revenue" suggesting that they cannot receive funding in the form of parliamentary appropriations. That same report lists the two 24 hour news networks operating expenditures at $69 million dollars, compared to $884 million for the main channels. This begs the question, how much does Newsworld rely on local affiliates for content? Do they ever direct local affiliates to desired locations? Do they dump expenditures into affiliates and extract out content or services? Just what exactly is Newsworld's relationship with our tax dollars?

I looked it up. According to their CRTC license:

Separate accounting

24. From the time they were issued, RDI and Newsworld’s respective licenses have included conditions requiring the licensees to maintain separate accounts from the CBC's television networks. The licensees file an annual statement of accounts relating to their specific revenues and expenditures.

25. The purpose of these conditions of license is to ensure that specialty services funded largely through subscriber fees, are not underwritten by the CBC’s parliamentary grants; tax dollars intended to fund the over-the-air radio and television services. This rationale is still valid and the Commission has re-imposed these conditions.

Therefore the CBC's specialty services are not permitted to be underwritten by the CBC's parliamentary grants. They are permitted to use content from local affiliates, but I would be interested to review expense reports and operational decisions made between Newsworld and the main channels. Newsworld is not supposed to have its expenditures subsidized by tax dollars, meaning any costs above what they are able to raise in subscription fees and advertising must be dumped on the local affiliates in some manner. Thus far I have no evidence that CBC Newsworld has violated its CRTC license agreement, but I would like to investigate further. Evan Soloman is not supposed to get our tax dollars, and I would like to ensure that is indeed the case.

To anyone who would like to send me tips or suggestions for my CBC research, send an e-mail to or leave a comment below.

View the 2000 CRTC license here.


  1. It is remarkably difficult to find CBC ratings online. I did find the top 30 shows on Canadian TV Jan 18-24, 2010. CTV has spots 1 - 13. CTV has 15 of the top 20 rated shows in Canada, and 18 in the top 30. Global has 5 in the top 30. City TV has 1. CBC has 6 (Hockey Night games 1 and 2 count as different shows).

    CBC shows who appear in the top 30 are:

    15. Dragon's Den
    17. Hockey Night in Canada, game 1
    23. HNC, game 2
    25. The Mercer Report
    28. Test the Nation (which was temporary)
    29. Jeopardy (which the CBC doesn't produce)

    I had never heard of the Dragon's Den before. I suppose I should have included it in that poll.

  2. Here are where the news programs rated. The National with Peter Manbridge is not among them.

    13. CTV National News
    20. CTV Evening News
    24. Global National

  3. Anyone who doesn't think the CBC is siphoning money from the mother network to fund Newsworld is a blithering idiot who probably thinks Soloman and O'Malley are unbiased reporters. Once a socialist comes within sniffing distance of public money, he immediately thinks up ways to skim some off for himself. And the CBC is nothing, if not socialist.