Saturday 5 May 2012

CBC's 5% Audience Target

When Richard Stursberg was the head of Telefilm he established an audience target for Telefilm.  Canadian films were to achieve a 5% share of the box office, which they never did during his term (or afterwards).  Telefilm has since adopted other measures to judge its performance. 

When Mr. Stursberg left Telefilm to become head of CBC English TV he once again made audiences a primary goal, as detailed in his book, The Tower of Babble.  Ironically, he achieved his 5% target at the CBC.  The following chart was presented by CBC to Parliament in 2009 and is based on CBC's analysis of its audience in the 2007-08 broadcast year.  By Mr. Stursberg's fourth year at CBC, CBC TV had exactly a 5% audience share.  Inexplicably, Mr. Stursberg claims that he achieved the highest ratings in CBC's history but in truth 5% is probably the lowest audience share in CBC TV's history and perhaps explains why the federal government had few qualms about cutting CBC's budget this year. Mr. Stursberg was fired by the CBC about a year after this information was presented to Parliament.

As CBC grapples with its current budget problems, it should pay more attention to its analysis of the broadcasting environment and recognize and understand the varied options audiences have today.  Programming as if it is still 1970 with a schedule that tries to capture the largest audience share is not a winning strategy. 

(Taken From CBC Submission to Parliament)

Note to readers: the preceding observations on audience are based entirely on CBC's published analysis of its audience performance. 

No comments:

Post a Comment