English Services’ programming in 2015-2016 supported our overall goal of intensifying our relationship with Canadians through the delivery of relevant, high-quality, impactful and distinctly Canadian programming that informs, enlightens and entertains.

Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries, CBC Television

Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries, CBC Television

This goal has been pursued both at the national level (in creating nation-building experiences) and at the local level (creating community connections) by being creatively ambitious and building on diversity and inclusion.


Our distinctive and high-quality programming received wide critical acclaim.

On CBC Television, our new scripted programs Schitt’s Creek, This Life and The Romeo Section received wide critical acclaim for their high quality and distinctive character. We also strengthened our commitment to the creative community with three new Arts programs (Crash Gallery, Interrupt This Program, and Exhibitionists), which exemplify the risk-taking and creative experimentation we strive for. Meanwhile, strong performers like Rick Mercer Report, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Murdoch Mysteries and Heartland continued to entertain our audiences.

This year we began to shift our factual entertainment programming. We moved away from contest-style programs to those that reflect authentic Canadian experiences, such as Hello Goodbye and Keeping Canada Alive. We introduced Firsthand, a modern point-of-view (POV) documentary strand that levers our vibrant independent Canadian documentary community. CBC also celebrated the Nature of Things host David Suzuki’s 80th birthday with a special episode.

Radio One enhanced its diversity through new programs, including Unreserved, Podcast Playlist, the Doc Project and Because News. The flagship arts and culture program “Q” was also re-launched during the year. Many or our shows hit the road for live remote broadcasts, including Cross Country Checkup in Iqaluit, Writers & Company at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, The Current live from Paris, The Current in Newfoundland, The 180 in three Alberta towns, Unreserved from Six Nations and the Sunday Edition in Dublin, Ireland. Music highlights included The Quietest Concert Ever in partnership with Parks Canada, ‎the Polaris Music Prize partnership, the Searchlight contest and Canada's Greatest Music Class.

2015-2016 was a big year for News with key events such as the federal election and the attacks in Paris and Brussels. In addition to providing Canadians with coverage and understanding of these events, CBC News also provided innovative, original investigative journalism on special issues/presentations such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Death and Denial in Cape Dorset, Face to Face with the Prime Minister, and Minority Report.

Finally, among our Signature Events, CBC provided multiplatform coverage of the Toronto 2015 PanAm and ParapanAm Games, celebrating the competition and performance of the athletes on Canadian soil.

Digital and Multiplatform

The federal election resulted in the single biggest day ever for digital news with over 27 million page views from 6.7 million unique visitors.(1)

Increasingly, Canadians want to consume their content on a diverse number of platforms beyond traditional broadcast media. A critical 2015-2016 priority for CBC was to continue to offer our audiences a complete “programming ecosystem,” in which our content can be enhanced by distribution on multiple platforms.

In entertainment, we launched the CBC arts feed, which is a dedicated digital arts site that aggregates arts content curated from across the CBC. We created an original digital documentary strand for emerging filmmakers, with specific emphasis on Indigenous Canadians. Other original digital content in the year included the return of Next Gen Den (an extension of Dragons’ Den) and Punchline digital series such as Riftworld: Chronicles, The Nations and Newborn Moms.

In audio, we introduced new original podcasts such as Campus, Back Story, Podcast Playlist and Someone Knows Something.

Our news site introduced a responsive website that adapts to different devices, allowing for a better overall user experience. All broadcast news content was also available in digital form, including coverage of the federal election.

Local News

Canadians are now receiving more local information more often, at more times during the day.

Further supporting our digital-first strategy, in October we launched enhanced digital and mobile local news services with content geared to each part of the day, including targeted push alerts. Canadians are now receiving more local information more often, at more times during the day. Communities are informed with more multiscreen digital content on the devices and social networks that Canadians use to stay connected.

At the same time, we launched “Visual Radio,” in which morning radio shows are broadcast live on television on weekday mornings. This provides more local news, information and perspectives from our local radio programs to our television viewers. We re-formatted our local supper time television newscasts to suit the individual circumstances of their communities. Finally, we added several local news updates on CBC Television at one-minute-before-the-hour, in the late afternoon and immediately before The National.

English Services 2015-2016 RESULTS

By year-end, English Services met or exceeded most of its performance targets, while experiencing challenges on two specific television indicators.

  • Radio A fall record high for the combined share of our broadcast radio networks was achieved. CBC Radio One’s usage also increased at a time where the overall Anglophone market consumption declined. CBC Radio 2 achieved its second highest fall share since the programming changes introduced late in the last decade.
  • CBC Television – Results reflect the weaker performance of some of our shows, particularly new shows, and was more pronounced in the fall season. Moreover, many viewers were attracted away from conventional TV in the early part of the regular season to the playoff run of Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays.
  • CBC News Network (CBCNN) – The share increased with the favourable audience impact of unique, non-recurring events such as the extended federal election campaign (late summer to October 2015) and the Paris attacks (November 2015).
  • Regional: CBC Radio One morning shows – A higher audience share was achieved over the prior year while increasing overall usage, despite the overall decline in English-language radio consumption. TV supper news – Lower audiences were experienced in the fall when the new supper news show format was introduced, with audiences growing through the winter. Regional digital content Favourable results were driven by coverage of events such as provincial elections (e.g. Alberta, Newfoundland & Labrador), a high profile murder trial in Hamilton and the earthquake in British Columbia.
  • Digital – Favourable results were driven by recent usability and presentation enhancements to the platform, as well as events of major international, national and local interest.
  • Subscribers to Specialty Television Channels – A decline in subscriber levels was experienced within the year. Subscriptions will be further challenged by the continuing cord-cutting trend and the effects of recent regulatory changes in the industry associated with the Let’s Talk TV initiative.
  • Revenue – Results exceeded target and compared favourably to the Anglophone market’s 4% decrease during the same period, partially driven by one-time events such as CBC’s coverage of and host broadcaster activities for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

Strategy 2020 performance metrics



(1) Source: comScore and Adobe SiteCatalyst.

(2) Source: Numeris, fall survey (diary), persons aged 12 years and older. Morning show: Monday-Friday, 6:00-9:00 AM.

(3) Source: Numeris, Portable People Meter (PPM), persons aged 2 years and older. CBC Television: regular season; CBC News Network: April to March; TV supper news: regular season, Monday-Friday, 6:00-6:30 PM.

(4) Source: comScore Media Metrix, unique visitors aged 2 years and older, April to March. Prior to 2015-2016, the measure was desktop only. Starting in 2015-2016, the measure for CBC's digital offering is multiplatform, but desktop only for regional digital content. The comScore measurement basis for 2016-2017 regional digital content is being finalized and the target will be published once this is confirmed.

(5) Target not finalized because of on-going negotiations with Broadcast Distribution Undertaking partners.

(6) Includes advertising revenue, subscription revenue and other revenue (e.g. content distribution). Revenue for documentary is reported at 100%, although CBC/Radio-Canada owns 82% of this channel. Excludes revenue from the arrangement with Rogers Communications Inc. for the continued airing of Hockey Night in Canada for Saturday night and playoff hockey. Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games revenue included reflects joint English and French Services revenue.

(7) Source: Mission Metrics Survey, TNS Canada. This is the per cent of Canadians who give us top marks (8, 9 or, 10 on a 10-point scale). The data are obtained from a high-quality telephone survey conducted among a representative sample of the Canadian population.

(8) Source: comScore, multiplatform measurement, monthly average unique visitors.

(9) Source: comScore, multiplatform measurement, monthly average visits.

(10) Source: Numeris, Time spent with our TV and Radio services; Adobe SiteCatalyst and comScore, Time spent with our Internet services.