CBC must change its TV programming for arts-hating rural Canadians

CBC must change its TV programming for arts-hating rural Canadians

Rural Canada: no longer Bold (Image: Jacme31) 

When it comes to TV watching, rural Canadians don’t like “the world’s best performing arts, intelligent drama and daring comedy.” At least, not according to the CRTC, which recently issued a sharp rebuke to the CBC for converting its rural-focused specialty channel, CBC Country Canada, into the general entertainment–focused Bold. Although Country Canada launched in 2001 with a mandate to serve and inform rural Canadians, the national broadcaster soon started drifting toward a more general format, officially switching the name to Bold in 2008.

The CRTC, however, is apparently just catching on now, directing the CBC to submit “an alternate programming proposal for Bold that will ensure that the majority of the programming is reflective of the living realities of rural Canadians.” That might mean tossing out such populist programs as Live From Abbey Road (a music show featuring the likes of the Mars Volta and the Gossip) and The Tudors, neither of which, evidently, speaks to people who don’t call cities home.

The CBC has until mid-May to respond to the CRTC but so far has said only that it is “reviewing” the ruling. Although we aren’t sure what a rural-focused lineup would include, we fear the Ceeb might have to bring back Wild Roses or air a disturbing number of Rita McNeil and Friends episodes.

The Globe and Mail: CRTC to CBC: You’ve got 30 days to shape up! [Globe and Mail]