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What Canadians Think About TV

Sep 5, 2014

Executive Summary

A national random telephone survey conducted for the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting in collaboration with ACTRA and Unifor by Nanos Research suggests that Canadians place a very high level of importance on local news, Canadian documentaries and public affairs programming.

They see the CRTC as the leader in protecting Canadian TV and radio content and strongly support the goals of the CRTC.

Canadians are more likely to be skeptical than confident in the federal government’s promise that pick and pay will result in cost savings on their monthly subscription TV fees and are divided as to whether to proceed with the changes or not.

By a very strong margin, Canadians want foreign companies to abide by the same rules as Canadian companies and to contribute to new Canadian programming. Of note, if Netflix and Canal + contributed to new Canadian programming, the positive impressions of those organizations would increase.

The vast majority of Canadians would like to see funding for the CBC stay at the same level or increase while only 10 percent would like to see CBC funding decreased. Canadians see the CBC playing an important role in strengthening Canadian culture and identity. The intensity of views on this opinion has increased over the past year.

Cross tabulations by political preferences also provide some interesting insights on the opinion landscape.

Among federal Conservative supporters 51 percent would like CBC funding to be maintained, 25 percent would like to see CBC funding increased and 21 percent would like to see funding decreased (three percent were unsure).

Asked about who they believed, the Government of Canada or the cable and satellite TV providers, on the issue of pick and pay and whether it would reduce consumer prices significantly, Conservative voters are more likely to believe the cable and satellite TV providers (54 percent) compared to the Government of Canada (31 percent). Fifteen percent of Tory voters are unsure who to believe.

Quebecers are comparatively more likely to place a more intense level of importance on Canadian documentaries (QC 76 percent, Canada 66 percent), are more likely to oppose the proposed pick and pay changes (QC Changes should not occur 49 percent, Canada 41 percent) and are more likely to agree that it is becoming more important to strengthen Canadian culture and identity as Canada’s economic ties with the US increase (QC agree 76 percent, Canada 68 percent).

Canadians in the Prairie provinces and Atlantic Canada are more likely to say that the CRTC goal of enabling Canadians from different regions and languages to know and understand each other is very important (Very Important, Atlantic 77 percent, Prairies 72 percent, Canada 63 percent).

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