Fix the Canadian television content funding regime

annualreport0607.pdf (page 1 of 104)

This appears entirely reasonable to me:

“We don’t think it’s a radical proposal. We’re interested in Canadian eyeballs for Canadian programs,” Lind told the commission. However, he added, “It’s confusing when everybody has their hand in the pie. To maximize Canadian audiences in primetime, social policy objectives need to be elsewhere.”

[From Playback :: Rogers calls for market-driven fund]

I’m no fan of Rogers anti-competitive behaviour in the mobile and broadband arena, but I have to agree with the tenor of their approach to the much-maligned CTF. I want to see top-quality Canadian content succeed on Canadian screens as well as around the world. I don’t think mixing economic and cultural policy agendas has been very successful to date and will become increasingly irrelevant unless some drastic changes are made. The CBC should focus on its mandate of telling Canadian stories to Canadians and be well-funded to do so.

But….

If the cablecos get their wish on CTF reform towards a more market-centric approach, then I think it is fair that those funds also be made available for indie producers for broadband distribution without discrimination or the requirement for broadcast network distribution deals.

Dear CTF: Open up the process, let viewers decide on what gets funded. Maybe the CTF (or some successor institution) could learn something from A Swarm of Angels or FilmRiot and actually innovate instead of foot-dragging on change.

This is the single biggest policy change that could support the emergence of a new generation of Canadian innovators in content and business models, who can develop quirky and compelling niche content on small budgets with potential global audience appeal. This is my dream – am I alone?

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