Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CBC launches media counter-offensive against Sun TV, Quebecor

The CBC has launched a public-relations counter-attack in response to a campaign by Quebecor’s media holdings to cut funding to the public broadcaster. In an unusual move, the CBC posted a “Get the Facts” news release on its website that alleges the Quebecor chain has received more than $500-million in public grants and subsidies over the past three years. The charge is meant to blunt continued calls by critics, led by Quebecor’s new TV network, to reduce or eliminate the $1.1-billion the CBC receives from taxpayers each year. “For more than three years, Quebecor has been using its newspapers, and more recently, its Sun News Network TV licence, to pursue a campaign against CBC/Radio-Canada,” it reads. “Quebecor has received more than half-a-billion dollars in direct and indirect subsidies and benefits from Canadian taxpayers over the past three years, yet it is not accountable to them.”
The public subsidies have allowed Quebecor to make profits, yet it “complains that its TVA television network ‘competes’ against Radio-Canada,” CBC claims. The CBC also alleges that Quebecor president Pierre Karl Peladeau has written more than a dozen letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ask that his government advertise more in the company’s newspapers.

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