Much to the chagrin of the Canadian broadcast industry, yesterday the CRTC announced the results of its fact-finding exercise on online and mobile broadcasting activity. Requested by the broadcasting industry to be conducted, the CRTC found inconclusive results on whether companies like Netflix were detrimentally affecting the production of Canadian content.
The fact finding exercise was launched on May 25th, 2011 to determine the impact online and mobile programming services have on the production of Canadian-based programming.
Results by the CRTC concluded that traditional broadcasting in Canada currently supports Canadian programming, no matter new services that are created to deliver content in new ways. Although Canada has seen a growing rise in the consumption of content through the use of online and mobile programming, the CRTC is not able to measure accurately how this consumption such Canadian behavioural trends. An important conclusion in this excersize was the fact that the CRTC has deemed there is “no clear evidence that Canadians are reducing or cancelling their television subscriptions. Online and mobile programming appears to be complementary to the content offered by the traditional broadcasting system.”
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Even further, the CRTC found that Canadian creators are actually taking advantage of the new broadcast formats to produce Canadian content and better reach their Canadian and global audiences. The digital platform is being utilized additionally by Canadian broadcasters and distributors to extend their program offerings.
For now, Netflix and other streaming services have escaped Canadian regulation. Broadcasting companies who backed the CRTC’s pursuit of potential Canadian direction are taking these results as a heavy loss, but the fight isn’t over. The CRTC still plans to track trends in innovative technology as well as Canadian consumer behaviour implementing another fact-finding exercise in May 2012.