The CRTC's Report on the CTF – A $150 M Hit to Public Sector Programming

June 5, 2008, Ottawa

CBC/Radio-Canada is disappointed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s report on the Canadian Television Fund (CTF).

The CTF is a public/private enterprise funded by the federal government and cable and satellite television distributors, whose role is to fund independent television production in Canada.

In a 68-page report tabled today, the CRTC has made a number of recommendations, which, if implemented by the Government of Canada, would result in a $150M decline in funding to Canadian public sector television programming over the next 5 years.

The CRTC recommendation regarding splitting the CTF into public- and private-sector components, if implemented, would mean that only private-sector programming in Canada would benefit from future growth in CTF funding. Under the existing CTF structure, all programming – both public- and private–sector – benefit from the increase in CTF funding that flows from growth in the Canadian broadcasting sector. The CRTC’s split-fund recommendation would result in this benefit no longer accruing to public-sector programming. If implemented, the CRTC’s recommendation would penalise all public-sector programming participants and the independent producers that are the direct beneficiaries of the Fund.

“Splitting the fund into two separate streams is counter-intuitive,” said Sylvain Lafrance, Executive Vice-President of French Services. “What the CRTC is proposing is inconsistent with Canada’s 1991 Broadcasting Act, which calls for a single, integrated public/private broadcasting system.”

Today’s recommendations from the CRTC contradict its Task Force's June 29 2007 Report recommending that projects qualifying for the new private-sector funding stream include those licensed by CBC/Radio-Canada.

“Implementing today’s recommendations would effectively take money away from those who have the strongest commitment to Canadian programming,” said Richard Stursberg, Executive Vice-President of English Services. “We hope the Government will recognize the detrimental effect this report would have on Canadian programming and culture.”

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 29 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.

Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to Canada.

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