Briefing Note: Voters and the CBC

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FRIENDS briefs members of the House of Commons Heritage Committee on a new survey which finds strong support for the CBC and widespread belief that the Conservative government is hostile to the public broadcaster.

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Briefing Note: Voters and the CBC

  1. 1. Most Canadians Tune into CBC/SRC 60 50 40 38 40 30 17 20 10 4 0 CBC TV Only CBC TV/Radio CBC Radio Only Neither Q. In a typical week, do you watch CBC television or tune into CBC radio?
  2. 2. CBC/SRC is most trusted to protect Canadian culture & identity on TV CBC [English] 24 27 19 11 5 3 4 5 SRC [French] 23 37 18 7 7 5 3 The CRTC 15 22 22 15 8 5 5 8 CTV [English] 9 19 24 19 10 7 6 6 The federal government 9 15 22 18 13 9 8 6 Global Television [English] 7 15 21 21 12 8 9 7 Your provincial government 7 14 20 20 13 9 10 6 Specialty channels [English/French] 7 14 20 19 13 9 11 6 Consumer groups 7 12 21 20 14 8 8 10 7 TVA [French] 4 21 23 26 12 6 1 Satellite television companies 4 6 12 16 15 16 22 9 TQS [French] 3 12 12 17 17 21 2 16 20 Cable television companies 3 8 15 15 17 7 16 16 14 18 Telephone companies 3 4 10 26 10 0 20 40 60 80 100 7- very high trust and confidence 6 5 4 3 2 1-very low trust and confidence Don't know Q. How much confidence or trust do you personally have in each group to protect Canadian culture and identity on television. Please use a scale of 1 meaning very low trust and confidence to 7 meaning very high trust and confidence.
  3. 3. CBC/SRC gets high marks for programming that informs, enlightens and entertains 60 Excellent/ Very good = 50 43% 40 35 27 30 20 14 12 10 4 4 4 0 Excellent Very good Good Fair Poor Very poor No opinion Q. As you may know, as the national broadcaster the mandate of the CBC is to provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens, and entertains. Overall, how would you rate the performance of the CBC in fulfilling this mandate to date?
  4. 4. Canadians fear cuts to the CBC will diminish local and regional programming 80 66 70 60 50 40 34 30 20 10 0 Yes No Q. Are you concerned that recently announced cuts to the CBC budget will reduce the amount of local news and regional coverage on television and radio?
  5. 5. Canadians view the Harper government as hostile toward the CBC/SRC Q. Mr. Harper’s government has cut CBC funding by almost 6% in its most recent spending plan tabled in Parliament on February 23, 2009, and on March 25 the CBC laid-off 800 of its creative staff. Which of the following statements is closest to your own opinion?
  6. 6. CBC funding is inadequate and is indicative of the federal government’s overall treatment of culture Canada’s level of public broadcaster 37 14 funding is insufficient to maintain a unique 31 7 11 and vibrant Canadian identity and culture Canada’s level of public broadcaster funding is indicative of the federal 5 40 13 30 12 government’s treatment of the cultural sector overall $33 per citizen is an appropriate level of 25 23 32 8 12 funding 0 20 40 60 80 100 strongly agree somewhat agree somewhat disagree strongly disagree don't know Q. Canada ranks 16th out of 18 major Western democracies in per capita annual funding of its public broadcaster in a recent survey, at $ 33 per citizen, compared to an average of $80 per citizen. To what extent do you agree with each of the following statements:
  7. 7. Advice from your constituents: increase or maintain CBC funding Q. Assume for a moment that your federal Member of Parliament asked for your advice on an upcoming vote in the House of Commons on what to do about CBC funding. Which of the following three options would you advise him/her to vote for…
  8. 8. Canadians support the Heritage Committee recommendation to increase the CBC’s funding from $33 to $40 per citizen The House of Commons Heritage Committee has recommended an increase in annual funding of the CBC from $33 per citizen to $40 per citizen. Which of the following most closely reflects your view:
  9. 9. Methodology This report details the results of an online survey conducted among Pollara’s 100,000 member panel of Canadians 18 years of age and older. The representative sample consisted of 3,361 Canadians ! Results are considered accurate to ±1.69% nineteen times out of twenty ! No quotas were set, but upon completion of the survey the data was weighted by age, ! gender and region to ensure that the results shown in this report are representative of the opinions of the Canadian general public. The survey was fielded from April 20th to April 24th, 2009. ! Unless otherwise specified, the sample sizes for all questions is 3,361 respondents. ! For information Jim Thompson, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting 613-447-9592 Robert Hutton, Pollara 416-828-7301

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