Say what you will about what's wrong with CBC TV in 2013. Despite facing a more competitive environment, CBC TV has maintained its overall viewer satisfaction levels over the past decade. Perhaps it is related to the fact that CBC TV has increased its budgets at the expense of CBC radio. Or maybe because CBC TV programming, including news and public affairs, has chosen to reflect our interest in crime, celebrities and consumerism rather than information needs higher up the knowledge chain. Whatever the reason, the Corporation's main TV service has kept viewer satisfaction levels steady for ten years running.
Every year the annual Media Trends Survey has asked Canadians to tell us how satisfied they are with 100 or more different channels. We only ask level of satisfaction for the channels people are aware of, since newer channels or regional channels are not on the same footing as national, established channels such as CBC or CTV.
The chart shows that the percentage of Canadians who say they are very satisfied with CBC TV has been stable over the past 10 years. In winter 2011-12 the very satisfied score was basically the same as in 2002. Incidentally, many channels register satisfaction scores well below that of CBC and a handful have higher satisfaction levels.
For comparison purposes, the following chart tracks TVO satisfaction scores over the same ten year period.
Evidently, while CBC has been able to find a strategy to keep the average Canadian satisfied, TVO has struggled since about mid-decade. Ten years ago TVO had satisfaction scores about equal to that of CBC but in recent years the level of satisfaction has trailed off and reached an all time low in winter 2011-12. Some of this downtrend may be the result of the much smaller budget of TVO; and it cannot redirect funds from other services. It may also be that in an industry that feeds on celebrity gossip, materialism, crime and violence, TVO has chosen to maintain a niche that focuses on more serious information needs.
The 2011 survey results are from CMRI's Media Trends Survey conducted November-2011 to January 2012 among a representative national sample of approximately 900 Anglophone respondents aged 18-plus. Margin of error +/-3.3%. The Media Trends Survey has been conducted for ten consecutive years and has surveyed over 15,000 Canadians in total. In our analysis we usually only report Anglophone results. Both Anglophones and Francophones have been surveyed in this period, using questionnaires in each respective language. Francophones have been surveyed in 5 of the 10 years. To compensate for poorer response rates among younger adults results are statistically weighted in keeping with industry standards. It is the only survey to have measured media use and attitudes continuously over this decade. The Media Trends Survey is not sponsored by any one industry or affiliated with a media company.