Good Times, Bad Times, You're FiredComplications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

November 2019

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021


Friday, December 19, 2008

I got a very thoughtful letter from a friend and colleague:
Hi Alex,

Interesting points about CTV and arguments to reduce Cancon.

I agree with your analysis. That is, that in poor economic times, broadcasters cut jobs because of the recession, but then again in better economic times, broadcasters still cut jobs because of .... consolidation, streamlining, operating efficiencies, [insert your rationale of choice here]. When you compare private TV broadcasters' profit margin with layoffs in broadcasting, there just isn't much of a link. So, layoffs in good times, layoffs in bad times:

The simple truth is this: having caved to unsupported claims that laissez-faire reliance on the marketplace will achieve all of Parliament's objectives for our broadcasting system, the CRTC is on the tipping point of accepting broadcasters' claims that what we really need is not more Canadian content, or even the same amount of Canadian content but .... wait for it ... high-quality Canadian content.

So please, just let us spend the same amount of money on less Cancon, attract more audiences, make more ad money that way, and we will all be better off. And then we will really really really try very very very hard to put more Cancon on air. Honest, we will.

Naturally this argument entirely ignores the last twenty years of broadcasters pleading to become bigger ... so they are better placed to fund more Cancon with more money .... and face fewer competitors (having bought them out) ... and can make more money .... and history continues to repeat itself. I can accept that few people remember the Aird Commission, or the Massey Commission, or the Fowler reports.

But doesn't anyone remember in 1967 and 1968 when Parliament finally decided that Canadians should run Canadian broadcasting, and give Canadians Canadian programs about themselves? Doesn't anyone remember that in 1967 Quebec's only private TV stations (CFCM-TV and CKMI-TV) were both controlled by non-Canadians (Famous Players, 51.8% owned by Americans), and that some American cable companies were running cables (literally) across the river to serve Canadian subscribers?

Yet here we are: CRTC is going to be renewing OTA TV licences next year (early 2009). Some 70 TV station applications will be heard in April, which means that Canadians will have the chance to comment in either February or March on these applications.

The CRTC has the legal authority to enforce Parliament's objectives, but only conditions of licence and regulations can be enforced. "Commitments", "expectations", "promises" and "undertakings" are simply not enforceable in law or under the Broadcasting Act.

Broadcasters will claim they must cut more Cancon to survive. They will commit to do more, sometime, when things improve to some unknown degree.

Will Canadians comment? Will they ask for more and better Cancon? Will they ask for their local news to be reinstated? Will they ask for more than one (one!!!) hour of Canadian drama a week at night? Will they even be aware of this issue? Who knows. But it's good to see people such as yourself writing about this.
Excellent points, thank you!

Labels: ,


M wife used to work for CityTV (she actually left voluntarily), and she saw first hand how they reduced not only the Canadian content, but the budget FOR the Canadian content. By the time she left, all they had left was a three hour Breakfast television. But having fired the hosts, the show was badly done, which she felt, was on purpose. If they could point to how badly the Canadian content was doing, they might be able to get rid of it altogether. I don't know if that logic works, but when she left, they were actually not showing enough Canadian content, but no one seemed to notice. They know where they make their money.

By Blogger Tim W., at 4:32 PM  


We've endured this long enough.

By Blogger Dwight Williams, at 9:43 PM  

Yes...very good points, thanks.

By Blogger wcdixon, at 11:04 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.