CBC applies to change broadcasting licenses, extend right to air national radio ads

, Income

The decision to air commercial advertising on public radio – for the first time in Canada in more than three decades – was not without controversy.

The CBC has applied to change its broadcasting licences for CBC Radio 2 and its French language counterpart, ICI Musique, to allow the stations to continue to air paid national ads through 2018.

The public broadcaster was first granted a licence by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to sell ads on its flagship music stations in 2013, but this is due to expire at the end of August.

The decision to air commercial advertising on public radio – for the first time in Canada in more than three decades – was not without controversy. At the time, then-CRTC Vice-Chair Tom Pentefountas made a scathing dissent of the regulator’s decision, saying there would be “a slippery slope once the door is opened to the commercialization of public radio… As a consequence, a distinct service that is highly appreciated by the public will be completely altered and lost forever.”

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