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The CBC: What’s it good for, without hockey? - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | editorial

Losing hockey is the best thing that could have happened to the CBC. A national institution that long ago lost its way has been given the chance – possibly its last chance – to find its soul. NHL hockey, the most popular pastime in this country, doesn’t need the CBC. And the CBC, if it’s to be what a public broadcaster should be, doesn’t need the NHL.

If the CBC did not exist, would we create it? And to do what?

The strongest argument for the CBC goes something like this: There are some public goods that the free market will not deliver, or will not deliver well enough, and so we create public institutions to do the job. Think of museums, libraries and parks. These would be very different without public support, and in some cases they might not exist at all. There’s a compelling logic to taxpayer backing for the National Gallery of Canada or the Canadian War Museum, or hundreds of other cultural institutions and historical sites. The CBC is, in part, such an institution....Hockey reveals what should have been obvious all along: Popular programming doesn’t need taxpayer support. We don’t need a CBC to compete with the private sector. We need a CBC that goes where the private sector isn’t, doing important things that are necessary but may be less popular.

Consider arts and cultural programming – something that CBC television used to do a lot more of, and then in recent years stepped back from. Or educational and children’s programming. Documentaries. Regional programming. Producing intellectually ambitious Canadian dramas and movies....So here’s a radical proposal to ensure that the CBC retains the spirit of a public broadcaster: Get rid of advertising. No ads on radio, no ads on TV, no ads on the website.
CBC  CBC_Radio  CBC_TV  NHL  hockey  editorials  public_goods  public_institutions  cultural_institutions  advertising 
december 2013 by jerryking
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