The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. will begin airing advertisements on Radio 2 in October, the broadcaster said Monday as it signed a deal with a national agency and hired a national sales director to help make the transition from a commercial-free zone into one lightly populated by ads.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission told the CBC in June that it could run limited advertising on the station, as well as the French-language Espace musique, to help it pad its budget at a time when its government appropriation is being reduced.
The broadcaster hoped it could earn as much as $20-million a year from advertising on the two stations, but the CRTC placed restrictions on the CBC that its executives said will cut that projection in half. Restrictions include a limit to the type of ads it can pursue (it can only chase national advertisers), and a cap of four minutes of advertisements per broadcast hour.
After three years, CBC will need to prove the introduction of ads isn't having a drastic effect on its private competitors and that the service isn't being ruined by frequent commercial breaks.
"The CBC will have to demonstrate that the advertising has not had an undue adverse effect on advertising markets, that listeners have not been unduly inconvenienced by the advertising," said the CRTC in its ruling.
To prepare for the shift, the CBC said Monday it had hired Canadian Broadcast Sales to sell advertising space on both services. In Quebec, Espace will be represented by Groupe Force Radio. It also said Jennifer Smith, who will remain the CBC's director of sales and marketing for Western Canada, will become the CBC's national sales director for Radio 2.