CRTC Delays CBC License Renewal Hearing To 2012

A question mark over government funding for Canada's public broadcaster has pushed upcoming license renewal hearings to June 2012.

TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. was to face license renewals in September for the first time in 12 years.

Now the public broadcaster will have to wait another ten months after the CRTC on Friday postponed a public hearing on its license renewals to June 2012.

The reason given was sudden uncertainty over how much taxpayer coin the CBC is to receive from Ottawa going forward.

“Today, the CBC/SRC advised that the federal government has not yet established its future operating budget. The CRTC believes it would be inappropriate to impose license conditions given this uncertainty,” the regulator said in a statement.

The public broadcaster, which has long insisted it operates with insufficient government funding, recently said stable funding and streamlined regulation are on its wish list going into the license renewal hearings.

A steep fall in commercial airtime sales during the 2009 economic downturn forced the CBC to increase its broadcast of popular U.S. shows like Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune to raise audience and ad revenue.