There was more separation between the producer and broadcaster at one time though. I think in the past the toy line funded production of the material but the broadcaster didn't have their hands as directly in the pie when it came to the profits.
Of course, it does make you wonder about certain shows. I can't picture Sym-Bionic Titan or Secret Saturdays being very good merchandise fodder. If it's so important to CN it seems odd to choose something like that.