Senate to call for commercial-free CBC-TV

A Senate report is to recommend CBC-TV become completely commercial-free, Canadian Press has learned.

A Senate report is to recommend CBC-TV become completely commercial-free and that Ottawa boost CBC funding to make up for the loss of ad revenue.

The report on the state of Canada's media is to be released Wednesday.

A committee headed by Senator Joan Fraser, a former journalist,has been working on the report for the last three years, with hearings held across the country.

It will recommend boosting CBC's annual $1-billion budget to make it possible to get rid of ads, CBC has learned. The public broadcaster takes in about $400 million in ad revenue.

The report also examined private-sector newspaper, radio and television concentration.

It will recommend measures to prevent private media conglomerates from dominating any single market, with a review triggered whenever a media company acquires above a certain percentage of audience share.

The report of the Senate's transport and communications committee will recommend that the Competition Act be beefed up.

The review was spurred by CanWest Global's decision to publish national editorials throughout its Southam newspaper chain without allowing local editors to opt out.

CanWest owns several big city daily newspapers and isthe country's second biggest private broadcaster after CTV. The BCE group owns CTV and controls The Globe and Mail.