Canada’s private broadcasters today will present to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, recommendations for public/private collaboration that will ensure the future of a strong Canadian broadcasting system.
Originally posted on march 21st, 2001
The purpose of our presentation is three-fold, says Paul Robertson, President, Television, CORUS Entertainment Inc., and Board Chair, Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). To demonstrate that more Canadians are turning to private broadcasters for news, information and quality Canadian entertainment programming. To highlight the challenges our industry faces now and in the future. And, to put forward a series of recommendations aimed at modernizing the regulatory and policy framework in which we operate that will help to maintain and strengthen our important contributions to Canadian cultural and public policy success.
We’ve reached a crossroads in the industry, adds Glenn O’Farrell, President and CEO, CAB. Now more than ever is the time for all of the players in the Canadian broadcasting system – the industry and the government – to work together to make the creation of Canadian content good public policy and good business sense.
For example, says Mr. O’Farrell. The current financing situation needs to be streamlined and made more efficient so that creators, producers and broadcasters can dedicate their time to quality program development, not chasing down funds. A market-driven financing model that channels public and private resources into the production of high-end programming will distinguish us in an increasingly competitive market and will enable us to attract and keep Canadian viewers.
Among its recommendations, the CAB will also call for the development of a Canadian radio music strategy that will create stronger Canadian stars.
We need to start counting music performed by Canadians as Canadian content, and we need to be able to give more airplay to new artists, adds Mr. O’Farrell. Private radio broadcasters working alongside a robust Canadian music industry equals a strong Canadian star system, equals the success of the government’s cultural objectives.
The CAB’s other key recommendations to the Standing committee will include:
A balanced copyright regime that supports Canadian culture;
A digital policy that will keep Canadian broadcasters at the forefront; and
A strategy to create space for local reflection.
Private broadcasters have two bottom lines, concludes Mr. O’Farrell. As businesses, job one is to reward our public and private investors with reasonable returns. As the preferred purveyors of Canadian expression, we have a responsibility to the government because of the licences we hold. When we are
able to serve our communities well, provide quality programming, turn a profit, and go head-to-head with the ever-growing foreign and domestic competition, we can achieve the government’s public policy and cultural objectives.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has dedicated the morning to private broadcasters, adapting its hearing format to allow the CAB and a group of industry experts representing a key cross-section of the CAB membership to make their presentation in response to A Study on the State of the Canadian Broadcasting System.
For the CAB’s September 2001 submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, a summary of its recommendations, and other information relating to today’s presentation, go to the CAB web site: www.cab-acr.ca.
The CAB is the national voice of Canada’s private broadcasters, representing the vast majority of Canadian programming services, including private radio and television stations, networks, specialty and pay, and pay-per-view services.