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CRTC Imposes New Spending Requirements for CBC/Radio-Canada


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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has renewed CBC/Radio-Canada’s broadcasting licenses until 2027 and is introducing new spending requirements that will “promote the creation of more diverse content.”

The CRTC said that its new approach will “ensure that the CBC/Radio-Canada’s programming meets the needs and interests of all Canadians, in both official languages, across all its services.” It said that it is adapting the way it regulates the national public broadcaster to provide it with more flexibility to fulfill its mandate across traditional and online platforms while recognizing the need to make the new framework adaptable for the years to come.

To balance this flexibility, the CRTC is increasing accountability and transparency through new and enhanced reporting and measurement requirements for programming on all the CBC/Radio-Canada platforms.

New spending and reporting requirements are being imposed to ensure that the national public broadcaster supports and broadcasts programming that is “relevant to and reflective of all Canadians of diverse backgrounds and Indigenous Peoples living in Canada.” CBC/Radio-Canada will have to invest in audiovisual Canadian programming, audiovisual Canadian independent programming from Indigenous producers, racialized producers, producers with disabilities and producers who identify as LGBTQ2. The CRTC is also maintaining certain spending requirements for programming by and for official-language minority communities.

The CRTC is requiring the CBC/Radio-Canada to conduct regular surveys of all Canadians about how it is meeting their needs. The CRTC will require that the CBC/Radio-Canada hold formal consultations every two years with Indigenous Peoples, official-language minority communities, racialized persons, persons with disabilities and persons who identify as LGBTQ2.

Ian Scott, chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, said: “The CRTC is modernizing its approach to ensure that the CBC/Radio-Canada’s programming can adapt to and reflect the evolving preferences of Canadians, including equity-seeking and official-language minority communities and Indigenous Peoples. We are giving the CBC/Radio-Canada more flexibility while ensuring it is accountable and representative of our various geographic and cultural realities in both official languages.”

Also, the CBC/Radio-Canada will be permitted to include some program expenditures on certain digital services toward its regulatory requirements. This includes its video streaming services, CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV. (The Corporation’s largely text-based websites, CBC.ca and Radio-Canada.ca, are not included.)

Until this decision, the CRTC had only allowed Canadian broadcasters to include their linear TV and radio services to meet the conditions of their broadcast licenses for the purposes of their Canadian content obligations.

Catherine Tait, president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, said: “We’re pleased that the CRTC has, for the first time ever, recognized the significant contribution of our digital streaming services, CBC Gem and ICI TOU.TV and CBC Listen and Radio-Canada OHdio, to the Canadian content ecosystem. CBC/Radio-Canada’s services as a multiplatform digital and linear media company will now be reflected in our regulatory obligations.

“We’re equally heartened that the Commission’s decision recognizes diversity and representation of contemporary Canada in our content as critical to the future of the national public broadcaster.”








About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at kbrzoznowski@worldscreen.com.

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