Press "Enter" to skip to content

from the internets: Canadian TV? Cancon Overhaul from the CRTC, daytime requirement on local broadcaster drops to ZERO %

photo ripped from, too good not to use.
photo ripped from, too good not to use.

So, this is a thing that is happening:

I don’t even know what this means yet.

Canadian “local” TV stations no longer have any requirement to air Canadian content during the daytime hours, a drop from 55{f2e86ea6af82e2bb048871abf045622abf0ed27fb513932dc1ee8c05a54cbefd} Cancon to 0.

Not sure what they mean by “local”.

Money’s still being funneled into Canadian production, but now they can spend it all on one super show instead of a bunch of adequate shows?

This bit is really blowing my mind: “The CRTC is also eliminating the rule that requires specialty channels like HGTV Canada and MusiquePlus to broadcast only certain types of programs.”

What does that mean for Teletoon? They don’t have to air cartoons anymore?

I need answers.

The Globe and Mail gets into it with some clearer language:

Here’s the proverbial horse’s mouth for those who want to read the whole thing:





  1. Mark Mayerson Mark Mayerson March 13, 2015

    I’m no expert, but I think “local channels” are the remnants of the old, over-the-air, broadcasting system that make up the Global and CTV networks. That’s a chain of stations that all show the same content during prime time, but have different schedules during the day.

    That’s opposed to specialty channels like YTV and Teletoon that are single entities that cover the entire country with one or two feeds.

    • Mike Valiquette Mike Valiquette Post author | March 15, 2015

      I think that’s correct.
      The longer I consider this, the more I think I like it. It’s going to cause some upset, but it could lead to better programming. I’m hesitantly thinking this could be a more Darwinian TV landscape we’re looking at. And I don’t mind that one bit.

  2. Meck Meck March 17, 2015

    The Canadian live action world seems a lot more worried than animation – the president of the Directors Guild of Canada sent this to his members.

    March 17, 2015

    Dear Fellow DGC Members,

    I am writing to tell you that the members of the Directors Guild of Canada suddenly face a challenge of unprecedented dimensions. According to the CRTC, major productions defined in its proposed new guidelines as Canadian will no longer need to be made by Canadians.

    Last Thursday the Chair of the CRTC Jean-Pierre Blais announced a new set of proposed guidelines for Canadian television. He articulated a vision for Canadian television which the DGC shares in many respects. As borders dissolve in an internet age of abundance, one of the best guarantors of success for a new generation of Canadian productions is investment – budgets high enough to produce shows made by Canadians which can compete on the world stage.

    The CRTC Chair’s speech mirrored many aspects of our philosophy – in all but one crucial respect: The Commission believes that this new generation of Canadian productions need not be made by Canadians.

    In his speech the Chair established guidelines for two high profile pilot projects. One is for adaptations of Canadian novels and another is for drama series with budgets in excess of $2 million per hour. These productions will be deemed by the CRTC to be Canadian and therefore presumed by the CRTC, without the benefit of any meaningful consultation with industry stakeholders or other public agencies, to be eligible for tax credits and public equity investment if:

    * The production company is Canadian

    * The writer is Canadian

    * One lead performer is Canadian

    * A minimum 75% of the budget is spent in Canada

    We applaud the requirement that the production company, the writer and a lead performer on publicly funded Canadian shows be Canadian. However we are stunned that under these proposed guidelines no other key production talent – Director, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Editor, Composer – need be Canadian. This speaks of the narrowest possible definition of a filmed production, and betrays a profound misunderstanding of how storytelling on the screen actually happens.

    As a viewer and as a director I can think of nothing more puzzling than the assertion that a production’s identity can be based merely on a corporate mailing address, a script and one cast member. Yet this is exactly what these proposed guidelines assert. They speak to a conception of filmmaking where the voice of the film stops at the financing and the printed word – one where the director’s act of bringing a story to life on the screen with a team of key creatives in no way informs the work’s identity. Yet many would agree that if the new golden era of television has one distinctive quality, it is the prominence of the director’s voice.

    A great deal of flexibility is already built into the existing Canadian content requirements for productions receiving support from the Canadian taxpayer. Having rules allows policy-makers the choice to adjust them. Having virtually no rules eliminates this prerogative. If someone asks you why it matters so much that Canadian key creatives be involved in productions supported by the Canadian taxpayer, ask them why they think there should be any Canadian components of any kind. The principled answer is that these rules exist to give Canadians a voice in a world where small countries have a challenge asserting a voice and developing the talent behind that voice. Where some aspects of the Broadcasting Act may be losing relevance in the internet era, this principle remains as relevant as ever.

    In his address CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais raised the example of four non-US shows which have become international hits: Downton Abbey (UK), The Code (Australia), Borgen (Denmark) and The Killing (Norway). The overwhelming majority of the directors and key creatives on every one of those four productions are nationals from the shows’ countries of origin. The CRTC is proposing quite a different approach for Canadian productions: Unlike shows like Borgen, the CRTC is proposing that Canadian productions be outsourced.

    Canadian directors, production designers, editors, and composers are constantly tested in the international market, working on hit international shows like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Bates Motel, Arrow, The Blacklist, Fargo, The Strain, Person of Interest, The Walking Dead, Lost, Rescue Me, Law and Order, Being Human, CSI, 24, The Wire, Vikings, House, Bones, Smallville, Falling Skies. It is stunning that the CRTC proposes to bypass the key creatives who already work on the kind of international hit shows we would love to see Canada make more often.

    Everyone is entitled to ask what it will take for Canadian productions to move to the next level in a broadcast world which has changed forever. But if the first idea our policy makers are proposing is to outsource the making of publicly supported Canadian shows, we also have the right to ask: “What exactly are we asking Canadians to build here?”

    Over the next days the DGC National Office will be proposing ways for you to make your voice be heard. I urge you to demand that Canadian directors and key creative personnel be made an essential component of the next generation of high budget, taxpayer-supported Canadian productions made for our increasingly borderless broadcast world, and to remind the CRTC that even in this new age of abundance, when it comes to the art of filmmaking, Canadian content is content made by Canadians.

    Yours sincerely,
    Tim Southam

    President, Directors Guild of Canada

  3. John Regan John Regan March 19, 2015

    In the newscast the CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais acknowledged that there could be upwards of 10,000 jobs lost in the production business. I suspect a lot of those will come from the animation community as a large amount of our jobs come from Daytime programming if the quotas for Canadian content are to be reduced this drastically. Certainly a large portion of the staff on the Flash/Harmony shows being made will be affected.

    But the decision on March 19 to allow “Pick and Pay” has an even more serious consequences for the Canadian animation industry!

    Will the Canadian public be willing pick Teletoon or Family Channel Canada when they will be able to purchase the big American networks like HBO, Cartoon Network, AMC and Disney XD if these are to allowed to enter Canada?

    Sadly the animation community has no ACTRA union or Director’s Guild to represent us in Ottawa so I see very tough times ahead!

Leave a Reply