Some further thoughts on the CBC, the NHL and Rogers… So to start with, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is laying off 657 full-time employees over the next two years mainly because it is losing control over the rights to hockey games, which generally bring in about a third of its revenue. All of that advertising cheddar will now be going to Rogers, which bought the rights in November for more than $5 billion. For its part, Rogers says the huge expenditure was necessary for survival in the broadcasting business, which is collapsing thanks to viewers having so many options.
Just about every analyst or observer believes one or two things will happen as a result. Despite acquiring that ad revenue, Rogers is either going to look to recoup its big outlay by jacking up prices on its various services – which range from wireless to cable to even Blue Jays tickets – or it too will cut jobs. The company indeed axed nearly 100 positions shortly before it nailed the NHL rights. The timing certainly looks convenient in retrospect, and it may in fact have been a sign of things to come. One thing is certain – there won’t be any prices going down, nor are any jobs likely to be added because of this mega-deal.
Meanwhile, only one Canadian team – Montreal’s Habs – are in this year’s playoffs.
Exactly who in this country is winning with hockey?