Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: May 15, 2019

Nearly 80% of Canadians want CBC funding increased or maintained: poll

The Nanos Research poll, commissioned by advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, found that 46 percent of respondents want CBC funding increased, while 33 percent preferred to have its funding level maintained. Another 17 percent wanted financial support for the broadcaster to decrease.

Among self-identified Conservative voters, though, only 18 percent of respondents said they would advise their MP to increase CBC funding, with 36 percent opting to maintain existing financial support. Forty-four percent want funding for the CBC to fall.

On the other end, Bloc Québécois and NDP voters were the most supportive of increasing funding at 72 and 70 percent, respectively.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 Canadians via telephone and online, also found that 77 percent of respondents said they had trust and confidence in CBC/Radio-Canada to protect Canadian culture and identity on television, with only 22 percent saying the same about online streaming service Netflix. Twenty-three percent said they felt that way about cable companies and 25 percent about conventional private broadcasters. – Marco Vigliotti, iPOLITICS

Heritage Minister rescues Telefilm Canada from a funding debacle in Quebec

A made-in-Quebec drama starring Telefilm Canada and the province’s film industry came to a happy ending Thursday, as Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodriguez gave Telefilm $7.5-million to fill a hole in its budget for francophone feature films. Mr. Rodriguez also named two new board members for the federal agency, which will commission an external audit of its funding programs.

The minister’s largesse stilled the turmoil that had wracked the Quebec film community and the federal agency since early April, when reports began circulating that Telefilm had already exhausted its 2019-20 budget for French-language feature films. – Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail

Big Bang Theory is a banger of a winner with Canadian viewers

Canadians are wildly enthusiastic about the American television sitcom that airs on various CTV platforms, according to a survey conducted by Maru/Blue. Canadians ranked The Big Bang Theory as their favourite comedy series, ahead of such chestnuts as Friends, Seinfeld, The Office, Cheers, and I Love Lucy.

So popular is the show that CTV ratings show four episodes have attracted 5M viewers, and six rank among the 10 most-watched regular series broadcasts on record.

The series finale and various permutations of the show air tonight starting at 7:30 ET/PT.

What to do about dwindling radio listenership in Canada

While the decline of commercial radio may be a bit faster than elsewhere, it strikes me that many Canadian broadcasters are better equipped than most in other parts of the world to reposition themselves from towers in a field to multi-platform audio content providers.

In the U.S. most large media companies spun out and orphaned their radio divisions due to lack of interest and synergy. Canadian broadcasters, on the other hand, including Rogers, Bell and Corus have remarkable vertical integration “stacks” with company portfolios including TV stations, mobile phone companies, baseball teams, web, apps, outdoor and more. These megaphones are the enviable secret sauce in today’s noisy world for the introduction and cross-promotion of content not only for radio stations, but new and rapidly growing audio platforms including podcasts and smart speakers. – Steve Goldstein, blogstein

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