Today, the Government of Canada announced major changes to what was formerly the Canadian Television Fund (CTF). The changes should modernize the Fund and improve it through better governance, simplification of process and a focus on innovation.
"CBC/Radio-Canada is encouraged that the Government believes first-run, prime-time Canadian programming is as important as we think it is,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. "The new Fund is designed to make sure that Canadians have access to more of the popular drama, comedy and children’s programming that they want to watch, when, how and where they want to watch it. More of that can only benefit Canadians and the Canadian broadcasting system.”
CBC/Radio-Canada also applauds the Government’s efforts to simplify the overall funding process and to improve governance and accountability of the Fund by ensuring that all directors will be independent.
"What is essential now is to make certain that the principles laid out today are respected as the broadcasting industry moves into implementation,” added Lacroix. "The challenge is to ensure that the Fund focuses on new programs shown when most Canadians are watching. If it’s done right, the model will be a success. If it isn’t, CBC/Radio-Canada is concerned that the elimination of our 37 per cent envelope will lead to a reduction in viewing to Canadian programming in prime time.”
The 37 per cent envelope formerly dedicated to CBC/Radio-Canada enabled the Corporation to address a critical shortage of first-run Canadian programming in prime time. It allowed the Corporation to commit over $100 million annually to the production of original drama and comedy – which is approximately 50 percent more than the commitment of the entire private conventional broadcasting industry combined.
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.