When it has the world’s largest media market right at its border, how is a national broadcaster supposed to compete?

For CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it is about thinking big.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, CBC GM of revenues Jean Mongeau says he is turning on its head the traditional phrase, “think global, act local”.

“We need to be thinking locally and act globally,” Mongeau says. “We need to be built in such a way that we are looking at it through the lens of ‘What are the players that we’re competing against?’ And the competition is global.”

CBC was formed in the 1930s on the model of the BBC. But Mongeau and his corporation and now operating in very different times.

In the last few years, CBC lost NHL hockey rights to a telco, Rogers; has cut hundreds of jobs; and is wrestling with the same forces as broadcasters around the world – how to retain and attract younger audiences, all whilst competing against VOD and US operators.

“Ultimately we need to be raising the bar so that advertisers now look at TV through a unified lens and a more global lens, and therefore enhancing their decision making in that process to be able to counter the challenges and the thoughts that they have around execution of the media mix,” Mongeau adds.

“In today’s world, I think we need to be much more active on the global scene than less.”

CBC has its own CBC Player for VOD and also streams live. Mongeau says CBC wholesales its shows to other operators’ own VOD platforms as well as offering them through its own, benefitting from both ad support and subscription payments.

“The great, fantastic opportunity… is to be able to bring Canadian content to our audiences in a world where the U.S. market is really dominating and spilling over into the Canadian marketplace.”

This interview was conducted at the EGTA New York meetings hosted by Viacom.   EGTA, the Brussels-based trade association of international television companies, is the sponsor of this Beet.TV series. For more videos, please visit this page

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