SBD/Issue 132/Sports Media

Amateur Sports Coverage To Be Reduced As CBC Makes Cutbacks

The CBC Thursday announced it will cut about 800 jobs in an effort to save C$171M, and amateur sports "took the brunt of the cuts in sports, though the CBC hasn't announced the depth" of those cuts, according to Chris Zelkovich of the TORONTO STAR. The CBC said that "'there will be reduction or elimination' in coverage of figure skating, skiing, aquatics, athletics and CONCACAF soccer." However, just three people's jobs will be cut from the sports department. The "interesting thing here isn't what will be axed," but what "escaped the blade," as coverage of "HNIC," the Raptors, Toronto FC and World Cup soccer will not be affected. Hockey "keeps the lights on" at the CBC's offices but "questions do have to be raised on why the network spent about $25[M] more on its latest deal and why it did things such as outbidding TSN for the services of analyst Mike Milbury." That money "could have been used to protect some of the amateur coverage." The CBC's existing deals with the Raptors and Toronto FC "will protect them for now, though considering the low ratings those two produce it's doubtful they'll be around after the contracts expire." Meanwhile, Zelkovich notes the CBC's "The Inside Track" radio show, which has "done behind-the-scenes documentaries and told Canadian sports stories for 24 years, was also axed" (TORONTO STAR, 3/27).

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