The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is hemorrhaging billions of dollars after losing the rights to Hockey Night In Canada, according to an internal federal memo.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the television network is out more than $2 billion after losing the 12-year licensing rights to Hockey Night In Canada. The memo, which was obtained via Access To Information, contradicts claims by network executive that the HNIC contract was only worth a “few dollars.”
In a confidential report, the CBC claims it remains “the cornerstone of culture and democracy” despite the large loss in ad revenue.
“The loss of hockey is going to have serious financial consequences,” said ex-CBC exec vice-president Richard Stursberg while testifying to the Senate communications committee. “You not only lose the profits from hockey, you also lose your capacity to sell the rest of your advertising at reasonable prices.”
“The way you would do it is you’d say, ‘If you would like to have hockey, then you have to buy this dog over here that nobody wants.’ I would say, ‘But I don’t want the dog,’ and you would say: ‘I’m sorry, you have to take the dog if you want the hockey,’” Stursberg testified. “So, hockey is not only important in its own right, it’s important because it props up the rest of the advertising sales.”
CBC’s main revenue source is a $1.2 billion annual parliamentary grant. Last year, the network saw ad revenues drop by 37%, from $178 million to $112.5 million.