Toronto – Canadian performers are angered that executives of Canada’s private broadcasters are in L.A. this week gambling hundreds of millions of dollars on new American shows for the fall television season while neglecting our own domestic industry.
“Canada’s private broadcasters are eager to hand over more than $250 million dollars on new American dramas and reality shows, when they should be investing in new Canadian dramas in their own backyards,” said Richard Hardacre ACTRA’s National President. “They spend millions of dollars on American shows in what amounts to an annual crap shoot that pays out few winners.”
Canada’s private broadcasters enjoy the benefit of protection from foreign competition, but are not willing or obligated by the CRTC to invest in Canadian English-language television dramas. It is not acceptable that Canadian broadcasters acquire simulcast rights of U.S. shows, air them in primetime slots, and treat Canadian dramas as second-class citizens.
Canadian broadcasters continue to:
Â· allow U.S. simulcasts to dictate the programming of Canadian shows;
Â· increase their profits every year as they insert Canadian advertising into these already produced U.S. simulcasts; and
Â· add to the profits of U.S. producers who have already recouped the cost of these shows in the U.S.
“Our broadcasters have decreased their spending on Canadian drama by almost $12 million over the past year,” says Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s National Executive Director. “Last year they spent 12 times more on buying foreign programming than they did all year on Canadian drama.”
Canadian performers insist the CRTC ensure private broadcasters spend at least 7% of their advertising revenue on new Canadian English-language dramas and schedule a minimum of two hours of these dramas in real prime-time (Sunday to Thursday, 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m).
TORONTO, The Canadian Television Fund (CTF) announced its Broadcaster Performance Envelopes (BPEs)allocations for fiscal 2007-2008. Via BPEs, more than $242 million will be injected into the Canadian television industry over the next 12 months to support programming including Drama, Children’s and Youth, Variety & Performing Arts and Documentaries, in English and French languages.
The CTF allocates production funding to eligible Canadian productions through its Broadcaster Performance Envelopes (BPEs) and its Special Initiatives Streams. Of the CTF’s total program budget of $265 million, English-language envelopes total $167.7 million, and $74.5 million has been allocated to French-language envelopes. The remaining funds will be allocated to Development financing and through Special Initiatives for Aboriginal Production, French Language Production Outside Quebec, Quebec Regional Production and Versioning.
Individual broadcaster BPE allocations will be posted by April 16 on the CTF website at www.canadiantelevisionfund.ca/broadcasters.
"Stable and predictable funding is critical to Canada’s televisionn industry. The CTF is pleased to maintain its financial commitment to support the development and production of high-quality, distinctively Canadian programming throughout the country," says Valerie Creighton, CTF President.
Toronto – The CRTC’s 2007 Broadcasting Report confirms that Canadian broadcasters are decreasing their spending on homegrown drama while rapidly filling our airwaves with foreign programming. Canada’s broadcasters spent $401,510,563 on foreign drama programming expenses in 2005 and $478,624,087 in 2006 – a 19.2% increase. Spending on Canadian drama programs have dropped from $82,226,776 in 2005 to $70,918,605 in 2006 – a 13.7% decrease.
“Our broadcasters have decreased their spending on Canadian drama by almost $12 million over the past year”, said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s National Executive Director. “Canadian private broadcasters bid against each other at the L.A. Screenings each May and spend more on U.S. programming in one day than they do on Canadian drama in one year. They are filling our public airwaves with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of U.S.-made drama programs and Canadian culture pays the price.”
ACTRA has been sounding the alarm about the crisis in Canadian television drama for years, and demands that the CRTC fix its disastrous 1999 Television Policy. At the CRTC’s review of the regulatory framework for Canadian over-the-air television ACTRA, on December 4, 2006, proposed that the CRTC set a regulatory minimum expenditure of 7% of revenues on English-language drama.
“The CRTC’s recent hearings are crucial for fixing the destructive policy that removed spending requirements for Canadian broadcasters. Clearly the CRTC recognizes the problem and must address it now.” said Waddell.