New Study Shows Canadian Programming Can Pay its Way - Broadcasters do get bang for their bucks

    OTTAWA, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - A new study prepared by consulting firm
Nordicity Group Limited shows that Canadian television programming can be, and
is, profitable for Canadian broadcast groups. Released today, the study into
the economics of certain types of Canadian English-language TV programming
reveals that with consolidation and the emergence of large corporate broadcast
groups that own conventional and specialty TV channels, broadcasters are
well-positioned to generate positive financial returns from Canadian
    The study was commissioned jointly by ACTRA, the Canadian Film and
Television Production Association (CFTPA), the Directors Guild of Canada
(DGC), and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC). It reflects the fact that
broadcast groups repeat Canadian programming multiple times across not only
their conventional TV but also their specialty TV platforms.
    Canadian broadcasters have been arguing that their spending on American
programming subsidizes their ability to make Canadian programming. Last year,
private English-language conventional TV broadcasters spent over nine times
more on foreign drama than they did on Canadian drama.
    "This Nordicity analysis reveals that the broadcasters shouldn't use
Canadian programming as an excuse for gross overspending in Hollywood.
Canadian programming can pay its own way," says Stephen Waddell, ACTRA's
National Executive Director.
    "We accept the fact that foreign programming is largely more profitable
than Canadian programming," says Norm Bolen, President and CEO, CFTPA. "That's
a function of the fact that it's far cheaper to acquire foreign content than
to produce domestic programming. But in an environment where broadcasters now
receive unlimited plays on multiple channels and platforms while paying
minimal licence fees, the suggestion that Canadian content is a financial
albatross cannot be taken at face value."
    Brian Anthony, National Executive Director and CEO, DGC, says "this
jointly commissioned study makes a valuable contribution to current
discussions about Canadian programming."
    Maureen Parker, Executive Director, WGC, says "The study shows that
Canadian broadcasters have historically aired most Canadian prime-time
television programming on Friday and Saturday evening, and that such
scheduling reduces a program's audience by 25% on average. Such scheduling
also means advertisers will demand deeply discounted rates. When broadcasters
make these choices for Canadian programming, it makes it even more difficult
for the shows to turn a profit. Despite this, the study shows broadcasters can
make money from Canadian programming, and they can make even more money from
it by putting it on when more people are watching."
    In the absence of empirical evidence or detailed financial data from
broadcasters, Nordicity interviewed representatives from six leading media
buying agencies, analyzed audience data, examined the implications of
consolidation on the licensing of programming, and factored in available data
on broadcaster costs associated with programming in preparing its analysis.

    About us:

    ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the
national organization of professional performers working in the
English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of
21,000 members across Canada - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed
professional performing community.

    The Canadian Film and Television Production Association (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, it promotes the general interests of its members
provincially, federally, and internationally; negotiates and manages labour
agreements with guilds and unions; administers copyright collectives; trains
new industry entrants through seven national internship programs; and
undertakes a number of other specific initiatives that help increase awareness
and enhance communication within the Canadian and international production

    The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization
that represents key creative and logistical personnel in the film, television
and digital media industries. Its membership includes over 3,800 individuals
drawn from 47 different craft and occupational categories covering all areas
of direction, production, editing and design of film, television and digital
media production in Canada.

    The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) represents 2,000 professional
English-language screenwriters across Canada. These are the talented people
who create the distinctly Canadian entertainment we enjoy on our televisions,
movie screens, radios and computers.

For further information:

For further information: Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer,
ACTRA, (416) 644-1519, Cell: (416)768-3336,; Anne Trueman,
Director of Communications and Media, CFTPA, (613) 233-1444 ext. 227, Cell:
(613) 851-4538,; Lisa Mahal, Director of Communications,
Directors Guild of Canada, (416) 482-6640 ext. 251,; David
Kinahan, Director of Communications, Writers Guild of Canada, (416) 979-7907,

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