Healthy Independent Production Sector Essential for Diversity of Content in the System - Association Calls for Terms of Trade and Access to Prime Time



    OTTAWA, Sept. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Film and Television
Production Association (CFTPA) appeared before the CRTC today to provide oral
remarks and to underline the critical role of independent producers in the
Canadian broadcasting system. The independent production sector spans all
regions, cultures and viewpoints, providing Canadian television viewers with a
Canadian perspective on our country, our world, and our place in it.
    "Consolidation is here to stay, but the commission can ensure that it
doesn't result in a reduction of diversity of programming by increasing the
request for Canadian priority programming in primetime timeslots from 75% to
85%," said Julia Keatley of Keatley Entertainment Ltd.
    The CFTPA is not opposed to consolidation in the broadcasting sector,
within limits, and provided sufficient safeguards are put in place to mitigate
concerns about gate-keeping, undue preference, or other anti-competitive
practices potentially associated with increases in vertical or horizontal
integration.
    "There is a real danger that consolidation of ownership can result in
diminished opportunities for Canadian programmes." said Ira Levy, of
Breakthrough Films and Television, "We believe that the best way to ensure
diversity is to encourage a higher level of priority programming from
independent producers."
    Broadcasters must give Canadian priority programming, made by independent
producers, a real and permanent place in prime time, in order to have a
healthy Canadian broadcasting system. The CFPTA also states the critical
importance of broadcasters to provide adequate financing for productions and
calls on the Commission to ensure equity and fairness in the business
relationship between broadcasters and producers through Terms of Trade
Agreements.
    "There is a significant imbalance of power when looking at our
broadcasting system. The commission must do its part to ensure that there is a
level playing field with these large vertically integrated broadcast groups."
said Guy Mayson, President and CEO, CFTPA. "A healthy independent production
sector translates into a healthy broadcasting system."
    With increased consolidation Canadian television broadcasters have an
unprecedented amount of market power. As a result, there is real potential for
a reduction in available windows for producers to sell product. This has
considerable implications for the independent production sector and runs
counter to encouraging diversity of voices within the system.

    The CFTPA is a non-profit trade organization that works on behalf of
almost 400 companies engaged in the production and distribution of
English-language television programs, feature films, and interactive media
products in all regions of Canada.  More specifically, we promote the general
interests of our members provincially, federally, and internationally; we
negotiate and manage labour agreements with guilds and unions; we administer
copyright collectives; we train new industry entrants through 7 national
internship programs; and we undertake a number of other specific initiatives
that help increase awareness and enhance communication within the Canadian and
international production communities.




For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Jeff Brinton, Director of
Communications and Media, Canadian Film and Television Production Association,
(613) 233-1444 ex 227, jeff.brinton@cftpa.ca, www.cftpa.ca

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CANADIAN FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION

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