For years I’ve said it was egregious that a state-owned, taxpayer-funded media existed at all, in a modern, free country. A government is essentially competing against its own citizens. What a disgrace. How embarrassing. 

But using taxpayer cash to bid for the rights to NHL hockey and Olympics broadcasts, in competition against citizen-owned Sell the CBCbroadcasters was, to me, off side. It reeks of socialism, fascism, totalitarianism, and lots of other nasty isms.

Today the CBC announced that because of their loss of the NHL broadcast rights to Rogers this year, and the resulting decrease in ad revenues from that loss, they’re quitting the business of bidding for sports rights altogether. Finally.

“As of today, CBC and Radio Canada out of the business of competing with the private (broadcasters) for professional sports,” said Hubert Lacroix, in a corporate-wide town hall with employees.

But it’s not as if it’s a shocking newly found point of free-market or capitalist principle for them. Like they suddenly “got” freedom and free markets and democracy. Far from it. 

 

For example, if they think “competing with the private (broadcasters) for professional sports” is so bad, why not quit the news business for the same reasons? Why compete against CTV, Global, Sun News, local stations, and news web sites?  On what basis can they justify continuing to compete against citizens and private broadcasters in that realm, if it’s so wrong to “compete with the private (broadcasters) for professional sports?”

And what about the giant web site business the state-owned CBC operates? That’s a huge behemoth which competes against privately-owned web sites, not just for visitors, but for discussion, for their own advocacy (the CBC’s is left-wing), and for ad revenue. Competing with the private web site owners  —  many of which are individual Canadians, not corporations  —  is even more egregious than competing against privately-owned broadcast companies. Using my own tax dollars to compete again me? Yeah in what kind of country do they do that?

And manifestly, why doesn’t the CBC quit altogether?  The whole enterprise competes against the private sector, in every single media sector it barfs on. I mean if it’s based on the same principle as its competition for sports broadcasts, by logical extension it means they must quit altogether.

So clearly, it’s not a decision based on principle.  It’s based on getting their butt whacked and trying to get as much sympathetic attention as possible. Their new policy of not bidding on sports is more a troll move, than anything. And it’s not really forever, either. Don’t let them trick you into believing them. This policy, let me assure you, will last only until they get another liberal-left government elected  —  which is something they strive to do, every day, all day long.

For years I’ve said that state-owned media should be banned in this country, and stop competing against private citizens. My go-to lines are “What kind of government competes against its own citizens?” And “state-owned media should be banned in this country, and that notion enshrined in our constitution.”

 I still say it today. Nothing has really changed. 

 

Joel Johannesen
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