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More Networks, Less Animation.

A few weeks ago, Playback reported that a new movie channel, Starlight, that shows nothing but Canadian movies, would be getting a Category B broadcast license. Awesome!

The all-Canadian movie channel Starlight has finally got its broadcast licence from the CRTC.

After earlier being denied a category A broadcast licence that would have granted Starlight mandatory carriage, the regulator on Wednesday gave the proposed channel a category B license.

That will make Starlight an optional channel to be offered to consumers by digital cable and satellite TV providers.

The approved channel will be devoted to Canadian movies, especially feature films and documentaries made for theatrical release.

But these things never come without conditions, right? Let’s see what the CRTC thought would be a good idea.

The CRTC imposed conditions on Starlight to ensure it does not compete with existing category A services, including ensuring that no more than 25{f2e86ea6af82e2bb048871abf045622abf0ed27fb513932dc1ee8c05a54cbefd} of its monthly programming is animated TV shows or films.

That ensures Starlight does not compete directly with Teletoon, and other Canadian cartoon offerings. And 85{f2e86ea6af82e2bb048871abf045622abf0ed27fb513932dc1ee8c05a54cbefd} of its programming must be Canadian content.

StarLight_FBCover1.1.1.1Really? 25{f2e86ea6af82e2bb048871abf045622abf0ed27fb513932dc1ee8c05a54cbefd}? Did anyone really think that imposing this limitation was necessary? There aren’t a whole lot of Canadian animated features to begin with.

The CBC and its documentary service and Corus Entertainment, which operates the Movie Central channel, were the main industry players to intervene as the CRTC weighed the Starlight application.


So, does Teletoon actually actually air any Canadian animated features? Because if they’re going to stop others from doing so, shouldn’t they pick up the slack? And in turn, maybe they should stop airing live-action features, since they’re forcing everyone else out of the animation game.

Honestly, I have no issue with Teletoon airing Beetlejuice or Batman movies. I’m totally ok with cartoon-related movies airing on the network. If it’s good for their audience, it’s good for cartoons in Canada. But Corus has a pretty well-documented history or defending it’s almost-monopoly of the animation marketplace. It’s why you can’t sell animation to Comedy Network. They got hit with some serious restrictions a few years back, so now they use their tiny percentage on South Park.

I don’t want to be the guy complaining about regulation, but this wears on a fella.

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One Comment

  1. Mark Mayerson Mark Mayerson August 29, 2014

    Cable is dying and it knows it. These restrictions are just a move to slow down the death, but it won’t stop it. Now that Rogers and Shaw are going to compete with Netflix, it won’t be long before what we think of as TV is dead. The idea of a schedule is obsolete, as is the idea of Canadian content quotas. The internet has set the audience free to go where it wants, and watch what it wants when it wants it.

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