04/10/2014 01:30 EDT | Updated 06/10/2014 05:59 EDT

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will cut 657 jobs and slashes $119M from its budget

TORONTO - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says it is slashing 657 positions over two years to cope with a massive budget shortfall.

CBC News president Hubert Lacroix said Thursday that the cuts to its budget amount to US$119 million (CA$130 million).

The belt-tightening includes less sports coverage. The network says it will no longer pursue the rights to broadcast professional sports, saying it cannot compete with private rivals that have specialty channels and multiple media platforms.

The CBC recently lost the rights to broadcast the National Hockey League's live games to Rogers Media.

The broadcaster is also grappling with a softened ad market and a loss of US$105 million (CA$115 million) in federal government funding that was announced in the 2012 federal budget.