CRTC Mulls Broadcasting Rules for Netflix, Disney+ and More
Scott Shortliffe, the regulator’s executive director of broadcasting, stated that the CRTC is in the initial stages of implementing the Online Streaming Act. The act aims to require streaming platforms to contribute to Canadian content creation.
“We will ask questions when it’s related to broadcasting activities,” Shortliffe said in an interview with the National Post. The CRTC has initiated a registration process for online platforms, including social media and podcast services, that generate more than $10 million a year in Canada in broadcasting revenue.
The Online Streaming Act updates the Broadcasting Act to include online platforms. It outlines objectives such as programming that reflects Canadian diversity and serves the needs of all Canadians. Shortliffe mentioned that the CRTC is still determining whether these objectives should apply to online services. The commission plans to hold multiple public consultations to assess the material effect of these platforms on the broadcasting system.
“As we work through that process, we’ll also be able to look at all these new players and say, do you contribute in a material way to the attainment of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and if so, should there be any regulation of you? And if so, what kind of regulation should there be?” he added.
The registration requirements are viewed as an information-gathering step and do not imply immediate imposition of detailed rules, according to Shortliffe. Any decision to impose obligations will be subject to a public hearing.
Should streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and more have content that “reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity?” With today’s modern age, people are watching what they want, where they want. It’s not like the old days of cable when you were forced to watch the Anne of Green Gables on the CBC because nothing else was on.