"Half an hour later in Newfoundland"
— Every radio program's preview has this.
"CBC; Canada lives here."
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (known in French as (la Société) Radio-Canada
or SRC), is the government owned national network in Canada. It was originally a national network of radio stations founded in 1936. It was founded as the successor of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission founded in 1932 which was, in turn, the federally-mandated replacement for the Canadian National Railways radio network, established in 1923. Indirectly, this makes the CBC the second-oldest broadcast network in the world, after the BBC. The first CBC television broadcasts began in September, 1952.
English-language CBC radio is split into two channels. CBC Radio One provides a mix of local and national programming, mostly news and public affairs, but with some music and comedy programming as well. CBC Radio 2 is mostly classical music and opera, though it has been adding more popular music lately, and consists mostly of national programming. Neither network runs advertisements except during federal elections when it's legally required to run candidate ads. However, budget considerations have prompted the CBC to get permission for advertising on Radio 2 on a tentative basis in the fall of 2013.
French-language SRC radio also has two channels. Première Chaîne is the French equivalent of CBC Radio One, and has a similar broadcasting focus. Espace musique is the French equivalent of CBC Radio 2, and until recently, had a similar format to its English counterpart, with the name La chaîne culturelle. However, in 2004, most of the high-brow cultural programs were moved to Première Chaîne, while the now-rebranded Espace musique
started focusing on classical, jazz, folk, and world music. This rebranding
was controversial, but proved popular.
There is also RCI, Radio Canada International, which is the CBC's international arm.
Some national programs from CBC Radio One are:
- As it Happens: Evening news magazine where the hosts call the subjects for interviews. (also syndicated to NPR stations, mainly in the Upper Midwest)
- C'est La Vie: A show focusing on Canada French speaking culture.
- Cross Country Checkup: A national call-in show focusing on politics.
- The Current: Morning current affairs magazine.
- Day 6: A more light hearted news program.
- The Debaters: A game show where pairs of comedians debate subjects with the aim of both being as persuasive and funny as possible.
- Definitely Not the Opera: A light arts and human interest show that runs at the same time as CBC Radio 2's weekly Opera broadcast.
- The House: National political affairs.
- Ideas: Intellectual documentaries and lectures.
- Quirks and Quarks: National science program.
- Q: An interview-based arts show (and popular podcast), hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, a former member of nerd-folk band Moxy Früvous.
- Spark: A weekly show focusing on technology and its relationship with culture
- The Sunday Edition: The Sunday morning current affairs and culture show.
- The Vinyl Cafe: Comedy and variety show, basically a Canadian equivalent of A Prairie Home Companion, down to the touring live shows and its folksy storyteller host, Stuart McLean.
- This Is That: A satire show that is a Stealth Parody of CBC Radio's news interview shows.
- Vinyl Tap: Classic Rock show hosted by Canadian rock legend, Randy Bachman (of the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive.)
- The World at Six/The World This Weekend: The main evening news show.
Radio One used to have at least one Radio Drama
running as well until budget cuts forced the corp to end the practice. Recent series include:
- Afghanada:Essentially Canada's Tour of Duty about Canada soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
- Monsoon House: A series starring Russel Peters about the misadventures of an Indo-Canadian family and their small book publishing business.
- Backbencher: The misadventures of a rookie backbencher Member of Parliament serving in Canada's federal parliament in Ottawa.
- Trust Inc.: The trials of a Toronto based public relations firm.
- Canadia: 2056: A satire on the War on Terror and Canada's role therein, set on the starship Canadia, the only Canadian contribution to an American interstellar invasion fleet. The ship specialize in toilet repair.
Launching in the year 2000, the CBC introduced CBC Radio 3 devoted entirely to Canadian indie music. Unlike Radio One and Radio Two, Radio 3 did not broadcast on terrestrial radio waves, but as a live streaming feed online and, as of 2005, satellite radio. Radio 3 served as a Voice with an Internet Connection
for new Canadian indie rock, (anti-)folk, and alternative hip hop, a launching pad for Canadian artists to get their music heard on a national and international broadcast service. Dedicating a non-standard broadcasting space to new music allowed the CBC to keep their terrestrial stations more focused on their traditional programming, though given that the CBC is a national radio and television service, an Unpleasable Fanbase
is all but inevitable. In more recent years, the brand has been reworked into CBC Music, an on-demand music streaming service.
CBC's television arm has five main channels: CBC Television, Ici Radio-Canada Télé, CBC News Network (formerly CBC Newsworld), Reseau de l'information (RDI), and Documentary
. The latter three are cable only channels.
CBC Television is a traditional TV channel, except that it runs predominantly Canadian programming, with a few British Series
added in. Ici Radio-Canada Télé is similar, but broadcasts in the French language. In terms of programming layout, it resembles a cross between one of the American "Big Three" networks and PBS
with commercials. CBC News Network is a 24-hour news network
, similar to CNN
or BBC World News
. Its French equivalent is Reseau de l'information (RDI). Bold, the CBC's digital TV channel, is not too different from CBC Television. It was originally Country Canada, a rural-oriented joint venture between the CBC and fellow Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment. CBC bought Corus's share in 2002 and added "CBC" to the name. The rural elements of the channel were largely dropped
before the name change. There's also Documentary, another CBC and Corus joint venture, which shows just documentaries, obviously. The CBC also previously owned Newsworld International
, seen on US cable systems; it was later sold to create Al Gore's "Current TV", which was sold to Al Jazerra in 2013.
The CBC also provides funding for Canadian television shows, and was once one of the main sources of such funding. However, its budget has suffered in recent years and other networks have stepped up in their place. Unfortunately, this will include losing the income of its major sports show, Hockey Night in Canada
, when the exclusive National Hockey League
Canadian broadcast rights were acquired by Rogers Communications for $4.9 Billion, effective at the beginning of the 2014-15 season. However, the deal also includes CBC keeping the right to broadcast the show for free until at least 2018, but Rogers maintains editorial control and all advertising revenue.
It also has a bad habit of cutting funding on shows just as they get popular. Between this behavior and recent attempts to introduce "hip" programming on CBC radio, there is some not entirely serious speculation about someone in upper management or the government trying to kill the CBC. Nevertheless, over the years, the station has been responsible for a large number of landmark and notable Canadian series, including Beachcombers
, Front Page Challenge
, the earliest forms
of the Degrassi
franchise, and several comedy shows like Royal Canadian Air Farce
and This Hour Has 22 Minutes
. Not to mention the biggest show on the network, the extremely long-running Hockey Night in Canada
CBC Television enjoys a significant audience in the border regions of the United States, due in part to its emphasis on Canadian shows as opposed to the US-dominated lineups of its competition (this has been lessened in recent years).
Not to be confused with the Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting Corporation
, a TV station in Nagoya, Japan, that shares the same initials, or with the Capital Broadcast Center
, a TV station in Egypt that also shares the same initials.
Show that have aired on CBC