Quality Canadian Educational Programming at Risk

    Educational broadcasters speak out on proposed CTF funding changes

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - A Key recommendation contained in the June 5,
2008 CRTC report on the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) will jeopardize high
quality, independently-produced Canadian educational programs, The Association
for Tele-Education in Canada (ATEC) announced today following a meeting at The
Banff World Television Festival.
    ATEC, which represents publicly-mandated provincial educational
broadcasters, is a leading proponent of unique made-in-Canada programming
which reflects diverse regional voices and viewpoints. Most of the Canadian
co-productions which ATEC members broadcast are funded principally through the
CTF, which is the subject of the CRTC's recommendations. ATEC has been vocal,
most recently at the CRTC Public Hearings on the CTF in February, in
expressing its concerns of the likely impact of the Commission's proposal to
split the sources of CTF funding into private and public sector streams.
    "While we agree in principle with the idea of two distinct approaches to
supporting different types of content, ATEC members are firm in their belief
that educational broadcasters in Canada should continue to have access to
existing levels of funding," said Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer of
TVO and Chair of ATEC since 2007.
    Under the CRTC's June 5 recommendations, Canadian Heritage (DCH) would
become the sole source of funding for the public sector stream. "The end
result is that the numbers won't add up," said de Wilde. "The money
contributed by DCH would not be sufficient to cover what the CBC, the six
educational broadcasters, and other Special Initiatives in the public stream
are receiving today. In addition, all broadcasters should be able to benefit
from any growth in the fund resulting from increased BDU contributions."
    It is ATEC's position that the only fair solution is to ensure CTF
funding for Canada's educational broadcasters continues to be no less than the
proportional amount they currently receive. Notes de Wilde, "This stable
funding would recognize the significant role educational television plays in
terms of being a unique source of Canadian programming that informs and
inspires. It would also not penalize us for our provincial focus and resulting
smaller audience reach."
    Also of concern to ATEC is the key CRTC recommendation that separate
Boards be established to administer the two funding streams. The creation of
two distinct governance bodies would likely increase administrative costs of
the CTF through duplication of efforts.

    About ATEC

    The Association for Tele-Education in Canada (ATEC) was formed in 1974 to
advance the goals and interests of publicly-mandated provincial educational
broadcasters, who produce, acquire and distribute educational programs and
services using television and other media.

    ATEC's member organizations are:

      -  Knowledge Network (BC)

      -  Access (Alberta)

      -  SCN (Saskatchewan)

      -  TVO (Ontario)

      -  Télé-Québec

      -  TFO (Ontario)

                         (Version française à suivre)

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jeffrey Dunk, Strategic
Communications Specialist, jdunk@tvo.org, (416) 484-2735 (office), (647)
226-3414 (mobile); Michèle Fortin, President and CEO, Télé-Québec,
mfortin@telequebec.tv, Tél.: (514) 521-2424 poste 2424, Téléc.: (514)

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