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CNM Update

News | 10/01/2003 4:00 am EDT

Bell Fund eyes formula change in Bell ExpressVu application
The Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund has used the occasion of Bell ExpressVu LP’s application for a licence renewal (Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing 2003-8) to ask the CRTC to revisit a recent 40% cut in funding to the fund (CNM, July 24/03). As a result of the decision in Broadcasting Public Notice 2003-37, Bell ExpressVu is now required to put 0.4% of its revenues in a new local programming fund – money that was previously set aside for new media. In supporting ExpressVu’s licence renewal, fund chair Paul Hoffert suggests that the local programming funding formula might be changed. Hoffert writes: “We request that in these licence renewal proceedings, you review whether the percentage contribution should be lowered, or capped. Is it possible to recalculate the contributions required to support a local programming Fund? Given the importance of the Bell Fund for the Canadian broadcasting system, we encourage you to consider any way to minimize the impact caused by the redirection of funds from Bell ExpressVu to the local programming fund.” He notes that the formula as it currently stands could put as much as $5 million into the new local fund in 2003/2004, well above the $3.6 million estimated by the commission to be half of current station-produced programming.

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