Netflix wants to remain exempt from regulations because they won’t stimulate investment in Canadian content, the streaming company argued in a submission to Canadian Heritage’s public consultation on homegrown content (via the Huffington Post).
The company has already made substantial investments in film and TV production in Canada and wants to continue, but that may change if the streaming service faces regulations in the country. Netflix doesn’t fall under the Broadcasting Act, as it isn’t a conventional broadcaster.
“We want to continue to invest in content in Canada in the way we have, which means continuing to spend money but not under a system that’s similar to the Canadian broadcasters, where there’s regulation and paying into the (Canada Media) Fund,” Elizabeth Bradley, vice president of content at Netflix, said in a phone interview.
“We’ve been doing significant investments on our own and will continue and honestly (it) will only grow significantly over the next couple of years. But regulation is not helping to encourage that for us.”
The Broadcasting Act requires involved parties make certain investments in Canadian content, which some producers feel Netflix should also do.
Netflix has commissioned hundreds of millions of dollars in original content produced in Canada and has also made “dozens of commitments in 2016 for Netflix original movies and TV series that will be produced in Canada”, according to the company.
Still, some producers, such as Denis McGrath, a Toronto TV writer and producer, argue that Netflix is hurting Canadian networks that have the obligation to contribute to the cultural funding that creates Canuck shows. “(Netflix) have no presence here, they have no employees here, they take tons of money out of the country in subscription fees and they don’t even pay HST,” he said.