The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or CBC (Société Radio-Canada in French), is the national public broadcaster in Canada. A predecessor network was founded in 1923 as CNR Radio, a chain of radio stations to play on Canadian National Railway trains as a promotional feature, and then succeeded in 1932 by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, which in turn was succeeded by the CBC on November 2, 1936 by an Act of Parliament to function as both the public broadcaster and as the regulator of broadcasting in Canada. Its television unit, CBC Television, began operations on September 6, 1952. The CBC was superseded as Canada's broadcasting regulator in 1958 by the independent Board of Broadcast Governors (the predecessor of today's Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) following the passing of the Broadcasting Act of 1958 by the Progressive Conservative government of John Diefenbaker as a response to the demands of private broadcasters to establish second television stations, independent of the CBC, in major cities (a situation not possible prior to 1958 with the CBC acting as both the private broadcasters' regulator and their competition), which led to the subsequent creation of privately owned commercial network CTV in 1961.
The CBC operates on a similar basis to its distantly related British cousin, the British Broadcasting Corporation, although unlike the BBC's television service (which is non-commercial and is supported by a television tax, which it calls a "television licence fee"), CBC Television is supported by commercial advertising as a supplement to its government funding.
Accusations of Liberal Bias
The CBC is accused of having a predominantly liberal bias by right-wing media outlets in the United States and Canada. It has long supported the positions of the Liberal Party of Canada, acting as a government lapdog when the Liberals are in power (much like the mainstream media does with the Democrat Party in the United States) and as a "watchdog" against the government when the Conservatives form the government in Ottawa. While the CBC is mandated to present an entirely non-partisan viewpoint, most scholars agree that the CBC instead opts for the position of consensus - hence its opposition to opponents of "global warming" and its predominantly hostile take on Creationism and Intelligent Design, earning it harsh reviews from groups with interests in creationism.
The CBC provides Canadian material on its radio and TV networks, focusing on Canadian culture and arts. These programs are included in all television packages. Aside from the cultural content, the CBC also provides sporting coverage (most notably their long-running Saturday night broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada, featuring the Canadian teams of the National Hockey League), which has garnered itself a surprisingly large audience outside of Canada.
- British Broadcasting Corporation, the so-called bigger brother to the CBC.