Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. is poised as the first broadcaster to tap into the CRTC’s advertising-based incentives aimed at getting more Canadian TV drama produced and watched. The specialty TV broadcaster has applied to the commission for licence amendments for Showcase Television, History Television, BBC Canada, The Independent Film Channel Canada, and Showcase Action that would allow those specialty channels to broadcast more than the regulated 12 minutes of advertising per hour. In its ads-based incentives program for TV drama that was released at the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) convention last year, the CRTC indicated that it will allow broadcasters to earn up to eight extra ad minutes for airing Canadian drama (CCR, Dec. 6/04). In its final policy, the CRTC allowed specialty channels, and not just conventional networks, to benefit from the incentives. Alliance Atlantis’ application for the licence amendments was made public on December 22, about a month after the policy was announced (Broadcasting Public Notice 2004-97). Comments on the request for the licence amendments are due on January 21.
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