The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has reconsidered a decision it made last year that would have decreased the amount private-sector TV groups are required to spend on Canadian programming.
The Governor-in-Council had asked the CRTC to reconsider its decisions relating to the license renewals for the TV services of large English- and French-language private-ownership groups. In particular, the government asked the CRTC to re-examine original Canadian French-language programs, programs of national interest in the English-language market and short-form programming.
For the French-language market, the CRTC now requires each group to make “significant investments” in the creation of French-language programs, representing 75 percent of its Canadian programming expenditures for original French-language programs starting in 2019-20. The percentage in 2018-19 will be 50 percent, “which will enable the groups to adjust to the new requirements and ensure sufficient support for the production of original French-language content for the French-language market.”
The CRTC is also increasing expenditure requirements in the English-language market for programs of national interest. The percentage will now be based on historical expenditures—”to ensure sufficient investment in the production of these programs and financial contributions according to each group’s financial resources.” For Bell, the requirements are increasing from 5 percent to 7.5 percent of previous years’ revenues. For Corus, from 5 percent to 8.5 percent. For Rogers, requirements remain at 5 percent.
The CRTC determined that the groups in both language markets will be required to allocate an average of C$5.5 million per year to support the production of musical programs.
Ian Scott, chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, said: “These measures will help our creators produce quality original content that meets Canadians’ expectations while adapting to the constantly evolving television environment. We will continue to require that these large groups contribute to the expansion of original Canadian programming according to their respective financial capabilities, so that they may play an essential role in the Canadian economy.”