EXCLUSIVE: CBC loses $175m after dropping Hockey Night In Canada

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An exclusive investigation into the CBC's Strategic Plan by Rebel News has revealed the ad revenue lost by the public broadcaster after the NHL's Hockey Night in Canada was purchased by Rogers Communications.

After losing the exclusive broadcasting and advertising rights attached to the National Hockey League's Saturday games as well as the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the CBC has directly lost $175 million worth of advertising revenue.

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Here's what our exclusive investigation revealed:

Hockey Night in Canada

On November 26, 2013, the National Hockey League (NHL) reached a $5.2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications Inc. (Rogers) who became the exclusive national broadcast and multimedia rights holder for the NHL for the next 12 years in all languages. As such, CBC television lost its long-standing flagship sports broadcast “Hockey Night in Canada” (HNIC), which had been part of the broadcasters programming lineup for 55 years. The announcement was mitigated by a four-year partnership with Rogers enabling CBC/Radio-Canada to continue broadcasting the NHL's Saturday night hockey games at no cost to the Corporation. However, Rogers controls the editorial content and collects the advertising revenues. In December 2017, CBC extended its partnership with Rogers to keep broadcasting HNIC and the Stanley Cup playoffs until 2026. 

Based on public information, the Department estimated that the Corporation's annual advertising revenues decreased by approximately $175 million as a result of losing the HNIC contract.

In December 2019, a few months after this report was published, Blacklock's found that the CBC's total advertisement revenue was down by 53%:

CBC-TV advertising revenues have declined by more than half in five years amid a shrinking audience, according to financial records.

...The corporation in its Second Quarter Financial Report said TV ad revenues totaled $90.9 million for the first six months of the year. Advertising revenue for the same period was $92.8 million in 2017, and $192.2 million in 2014.

Last year, Rogers fired Don Cherry from Coaches' Corner on Hockey Night In Canada for telling Canadians to wear a poppy for Remembrance Day.

Rebel News files hundreds of Access to Information requests a year.

Sometimes we get nothing, but sometimes we get something shocking and that makes it all worth it. To help us cover the cost of filing these requests, please help us out at RebelInvestigates.com.

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