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CBC2 to Air Ads

Opponents say decision means that the regulator is on its way to treating the public broadcaster as a private company

Canada’s broadcast regulator will allow limited advertising on two of that country’s public radio channels.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the change when it renewed the CBC’s license for another five-year term.

The CBC reported that some advertising will be allowed on its secondary radio French and English networks.

Originally, the CBC asked for approval to air unlimited ads on Radio 2 and its French-language equivalent “Espace Musique.”

But the CRTC instead approved a four-minute per-hour spot limit. The change is good for the next three years.

The reported that CBC President

Hubert Lacroix said the broadcaster needs advertising to fill a hole left by years of budget cuts. CBC, won’t however, ask for advertising to be allowed on its main channels.

The decision to okay even limited ads is controversial.

The CRTC was split on the issue, according to the account, with CRTC Vice-Chair Tom Pentefountas calling the change “a slippery slope.”

Private radio companies, too, opposed the decision, according to the account, saying the regulator seems to be treating the CBC as a commercial, rather than a public, broadcaster.