Yesterday, the new Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced its Board of Directors. The CMF was created last March to replace the Canadian Television Fund (CTF). CBC/Radio-Canada congratulates the appointees and wishes them all the best in tackling the challenges ahead, as those challenges are formidable indeed.
The Canadian television industry is at a critical juncture. The model for conventional broadcasting is broken and the future of high-quality Canadian programming is at risk.
Historically, CBC/Radio-Canada has played a leading role in ensuring that the goals of the CTF – providing Canadians with high-quality, original shows that they can call their own – were achieved. The funding envelope that was formerly dedicated to productions commissioned by CBC/Radio-Canada was key to addressing the considerable shortage of first-run Canadian programming in prime time. The Corporation annually spends over 50 per cent more on Canadian drama and comedy programming than the entire private conventional broadcasting industry combined.
CBC/Radio-Canada is confident that the CMF will play a central role in ensuring the continued viability of Canadian programming. What is essential now is to make certain that the principles laid out earlier this year by the Government – a simplification of process, encouragement of innovation, and a focus on first-run, prime-time Canadian programming – are effectively put into practice.
“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 for the new Fund will be a great success,” said Steven Guiton, Chief Regulatory Officer at 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.