CRTC Gives Corus Relief on Canadian Content Spending Rules

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Corus Entertainment’s request to reduce its Canadian content spending requirements from 8.5% to 5% of revenue, starting May 13, 2024.

Corus, the country’s largest provider of independent programming, submitted a proposal last fall, seeking a reduction in spending obligations for programs of national interest (PNI) and Canadian programming expenditures (CPE) for its English language television stations and discretionary services.

The CRTC reviewed the request, considering it reasonable and tailored to Corus’ unique circumstances within the broadcasting sector. The decision aims to strike a balance between supporting Canadian programming and acknowledging the financial challenges broadcasters face. The Commission highlighted Corus’ significant role in the broadcasting system, which factored into their decision to consider the application.

The CRTC said, “it is considering the current application specifically because of Corus’ unique regulatory status and its importance to the broadcasting system.” Well, okay then.

As part of the approval, the CRTC stipulated that any decrease in PNI expenditures by Corus must be offset by increased spending on other types of Canadian programming. This adjustment is part of the CRTC’s broader efforts to modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework, which includes the delayed implementation of the Online Streaming Act, or Bill C-11, until after the upcoming federal election next year.

Corus, established by the Shaw family, also offers its content through StackTV, its online streaming service (that has ads, despite you paying for the service).

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