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Foreign ownership of Canadian media companies

Feb 13, 2012

Findings

Q. Which of these two views most closely reflects your own opinion?

Canada's broadcasting and communications companies should be able to sell a majority interest to foreign companies in order to be globally competitive, or

Canadian broadcasting and communications are too important for cultural and national security reasons to allow ownership and control by foreign companies

chart 1

  • Regionally, Alberta has both the lowest level of support for allowing foreign companies to own Canadian media enterprises and the highest level of agreement that Canadian media companies are too important to permit control by foreign companies.
  • Manitoba/Saskatchewan is the opposite.
  • Gender gap is in play with more women than men (81% vs. 72%) agreeing that Canadian media companies are too important to permit control by foreign companies and more men than women (27% vs. 19%) agreeing that Canadian media companies should be open to foreign control.
  • Respondents in the $100,000+ income bracket are more likely than other Canadians to agree that Canadian media companies should be open to foreign control (29% vs. 23%). Those in the highest income bracket are also less likely to agree that Canadian media companies are too important to permit foreign control (71% vs. 77% of Canadians in other income brackets).

Which of these two views most closely reflects your own opinion?

chart 2

Q. If foreign companies gained permission and acquired control of Canadian broadcasting and cable companies, would you expect Canadian content on radio and TV to increase, decrease, stay the same, don't know.

chart 3

  • Since April 2010 when this question was last posed, the expectation that Canadian content will decrease if foreign companies acquired control of Canadian broadcasting enterprises has grown significantly from 48% to 65%
  • Significantly more Albertans (76% vs. 65%) expect Canadian content to decrease were foreign companies permitted to control Canadian media enterprises.
  • More women than men (67% vs. 63%) expect Canadian content to decline if foreign companies were allowed to acquire control of Canadian media enterprises.
  • Those with incomes of $100,000+ are the most optimistic with 23% vs. 18% of Canadians expecting Canadian content levels to stay the same in the scenario where foreign companies are permitted to control Canadian media enterprises.

chart 4

This report is based on an online survey of 2022 adult Canadians conducted from November 4 to 10 with a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, 19 times out of 20. Larger margins apply to sub-sets of the national sample. The survey was commissioned by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and designed and administered by political scientists Peter Loewen, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Daniel Rubenson, Associate Professor at Ryerson University. Fieldwork for the poll was done by Vision Critical on the Angus Reid Forum National Panel.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.