Saying the quality and the quantity of local TV programming in Canada is at risk, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will hold a public consultation and review of the Local Programming Improvement Fund.
The CRTC is inviting Canadians to submit comments. A public hearing will begin on April 16, 2012 in Gatineau, QC.
The LPIF was created to support the development of local television programming, particularly local news, in non-metropolitan markets. The CRTC says spending on local programming has stagnated and even declined due to, among other things, the fragmentation of television audiences and the decline in advertising revenues.
Since 2009, cable and satellite companies have been contributing 1.5% of their gross broadcasting revenues to the fund. As a result, by the end of 2012, it will have distributed more than $300 million to more than 75 local stations throughout the country. To be eligible, stations must broadcast local programming that includes news. The Commission had announced its intention to review the fund in its third year of operation.
The review will help the CRTC determine whether the fund should be maintained, modified or cancelled.
The Commission is seeking comments on the following topics:
evaluation of the fund's objectives and the performance of recipient stations;
-additional spending on local programming as a condition for receiving funding;
-eligibility for the fund and the funding allocation formula;
-cable and satellite companies' contributions to the fund; and
-the relevance of maintaining, modifying or abandoning the fund.
Anyone interested may submit comments by February 15, 2012 by:
-completing the on-line form
-writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2; or
-sending a fax to 819-994-0218.