CBC wants 'Netflix tax'

Jul 8, 2014

Source: StarPhoenix

The CBC is pushing for online service Netflix and others to help fund Canadian content.

In a submission to telecom regulator CRTC, the broadcaster argues any "over-thetop" streaming service, such as U.S.-based Netflix, that earns more than $25 million a year in Canada, should be required to pay into the Canadian Media Fund, online industry site Cartt.ca and Huffington Post have reported.

Contacted by Postmedia News, a CBC representative declined to provide details.

"Our submission speaks for itself," said CBC communications officer Julie Pagé. "We will elaborate on our proposals at the hearings in September. Have a good day."

Netflix says it should not have to pay into the fund, telling the CRTC a "Netflix tax" - as it called it - would force the company to raise prices for Canadian consumers.

Netflix argues it's unfair to pay into a media fund it cannot use to finance its own original programming.

The tax "might translate into an increase in price without ... a commensurate benefit for Canadian content, its producers or Canadian consumers," Netflix said, as quoted by the Hollywood Reporter.

The CRTC has previously ruled over-the-top streaming services like Netflix should be exempt from CanCon rules, but as such services take an ever larger share of the TV-viewing market, the Canadian Media Producers Association and others are calling for a change.

The group estimates Netflix's Canadian revenue at $650 million a year, given an estimated six million subscribers.

© StarPhoenix