RoW Update

 

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CCR Editorial

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.

Talk around "Canadian culture" and "consumer choice" when it comes to the broadcast industry has become meaningless. The concepts are used as platitudes in battles over the bottom line. They are often bandied about as the two most common reasons for proposed regulatory concessions or continued regulatory protection. It's all getting a little tiring though as these two elements usually end up suffering the most in policy decisions. What ends up taking precedent is the profits of the industry stakeholders.

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CCTA makes its case for the removal of customer winback restrictions

The Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA) has once again argued for changes to winback rules that prohibit incumbent cable companies from direct marketing customers who have notified them of their intention to cancel their basic cable service. The cable industry stated its case in a June 9 filing to the CRTC (Broadcasting Public Notice 2003-21). Below is an edited excerpt of the submission. The full submission can be found here.

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CCR People

Former CRTC chair Françoise Bertrand has been named president of the Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce. She will succeed Michel Audet on August 18. She will be the first woman to head up the largest business network in Quebec. Since 2001, she has been a senior associate with the Secor Group, where she managed the company's strategic consulting work for the communications industry. She has also worked as chair of the Société de Radio-Télévision du Québec (Télé-Québec).

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CCR Short Takes

Macerola report criticized for being too lenient on CanCon
The François Macerola report on Canadian content is coming under fire for its proposed sliding scale that could potentially allow more foreigners to work on shows that receive public money and are certified as Canadian.

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Canadian broadcasters protest carriage of rebranded TNN channel in Canada

 The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is trying to block another "back door" entry by Viacom International Inc. into the Canadian broadcasting system of a TV channel genre that it isn't authorized to broadcast in Canada. The association is asking the CRTC to "immediately initiate a public proceeding to determine whether it should remove TNN/SpikeTV from the lists of eligible satellite services."

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Documentary producers call for revamped funding rules as genre rises in popularity

 Even as a new report shows that documentary production is on the rise in Canada, producers are warning that not all is rosy and changes need to be made to the funding system. A new report, Getting Real: An Economic Profile of the Canadian Documentary Production Industry, indicates that documentary production in Canada outpaced growth of the overall Canadian content production sector over the past six years. Total Canadian documentary production grew an average of 18% in the six years between 1996-97 and 2001-02 to reach $420 million. The share of viewing of Canadian documentaries also rose from 1.8% in 1998 to the current 4.4% (CCR Update, June 11/03). But there are complaints about how the public funding system is set up, the fact that the average budget for documentaries has nosedived, and questions on what was actually considered a documentary for the purposes of the report.

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Quebec Liberal budget cuts deeper into film/TV than PQ proposals, producers say

 Cuts to financial support for Quebec's film and television industry by the province's two-month-old Liberal government will have a deeper impact on the industry than those proposed by the Parti Québécois before it lost power, producers say. The Association des Producteurs de Films et de Télévision du Québec (APFTQ) estimates that about $21 million will be lost from the system due to reductions in the refundable production tax credit benefit. While making the tax credit cuts, the provincial Liberals plan to add $15 million to the budget of cultural agency La Société de développement des enterprises culturelles (SODEC). That would translate into a net loss of about $6 million in government support for the sector.

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CHUM hoping to use channel brands to boost box office fortunes of feature film

 CHUM Ltd. is the first to take advantage of changes in Telefilm Canada guidelines that allow broadcasters to become involved in feature films. The Toronto-based broadcaster is contributing about 20% of the budget for the $5-million sci-fi film Decoys, which was shot in Ottawa and is due for theatrical release later this summer.

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Foreign services should be considered at same time as new Category 2s, CAB says

 The CRTC's proposal to consider licence applications for new Category 2 digital specialty television channels at regular intervals could put potential new domestic entrants at a disadvantage to directly competing foreign services, warns the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). The CRTC has proposed reviewing all new Category 2 licence applications at specific time periods, regardless of when they were submitted, as a means of lessening its workload.

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