Canadians Would Pay For CBC, CBC Execs Tell CRTC

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GATINEAU, Que. - The heads of CBC/Radio-Canada have told the country's broadcast regulator that Canadians are ready to pay to get the broadcaster's content even if many consider it an acquired right.

They told hearings of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today they are in favour of revamping the business model of traditional television.

They say the current system has become less profitable because of the multiplication of platforms and new players in the market.

However, the CBC/Radio-Canada executives would not say how much consumers would have to pay for the service despite questions from journalists and CRTC commissioners.

Hubert Lacroix, president of the Crown-owned broadcaster, says new sources of funding are vital for it to ensure its survival or else the quality of its programming will decline.

Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC, suggested that the broadcaster's funding is possibly a greater challenge than any regulations it may face.

CBC/Radio-Canada has already undertaken deep cuts to its workforce to balance its books.

The CRTC hearings will continue until Sept. 19.

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