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CMF Announces 2015-2016 program budget, guidelines and deadlines

From a media release:

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) today announced Program Guidelines for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. It also announced the program budget for 2015-2016 set at $375.2M.

The CMF is committing $375.2M to support Canada’s television and digital media industry in 2015-2016. Underspending in some 2014-2015 programs, revenues from tangible benefits and one-time adjustments of revenues from broadcast distribution undertakings (BDU) in 2014-2015 contributed to achieving this program budget.

The program budget is also supported by revenue forecasts for the coming year based on contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors, and CMF recoupment revenues from funded productions. The program budget reflects a conservative estimate of expected BDU contributions to the CMF for the year to come and includes an expected stable contribution from the Government of Canada.

The breakdown of the 2015-2016 Program Budget can be viewed on the CMF website. Please click here.

CMF Programs
Changes and updates have been made to existing program guidelines for 2015-2016. Complete Program Guidelinesapplication deadlines, and a summary of changes are available on the CMF website cmf-fmc.ca.  All applications for funding will be processed through eTelefilm, a simple and secure website that provides applicants with updated information about the status of their application.

As a result of Corus Entertainment’s acquisition of Historia, Séries+ and TELETOON and in accordance with the CRTC’s Tangible Benefits Policy, the CMF and Corus Entertainment are pleased to announce the Page to Pitch Program. This program is devoted to funding creative and business activities during the development of eligible live-action and animated television projects. The 2015-2016 Page to Pitch Program budget is set at $1,163,750 and will fund eligible costs related to script development or the acquisition of pre-sale financing.  Projects will be evaluated and chosen through a selective process and successful applicants may receive amounts of up to $25,000. Guidelines for the Page to Pitch Program can be accessed on the CMF website by clicking here.  The deadline for this program is May 5, 2015.

The CMF will host webcasts on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 to provide an overview of changes to the programs and to field questions.  The French webcast will be at 11 a.m. ET, the English webcast will be at 2 p.m. ET. Details on how to join the webcasts will be communicated shortly.

Performance Envelope Program
Factor Weights for 2015-2016 remain unchanged, while changes have been made to genre allocations. This information can now be accessed on the CMF website under Performance Envelope Calculations. The CMF will be sending broadcaster agreements outlining the amounts allocated for the upcoming year to individual broadcasters in early April, 2015. Details about each broadcaster’s Performance Envelope will be posted on the CMF website in mid-April, 2015.

In 2015-2016, the CMF will continue to work on adapting its policies and programs, particularly in light of the upcoming results of the program evaluation of the CMF by Canadian Heritage, the impact of the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV decisions, as well as a formal and inclusive consultation with industry stakeholders and funders planned for fall 2015. Details on the nationwide consultation will be made available at a later date.

Super Channel teams with New Metric Media for What Would Sal Do?

From a media release:

Super Channel, Canada’s only national English pay television network, is pleased to announce it has commissioned a new original scripted comedy series, What Would Sal Do?, from Toronto based New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media.

Created by Andrew De Angelis (Mr. D, Fugget About It), the eight-episode, half-hour comedy series, is a modern day parable of an entitled underachiever, Sal, who for the first time in his life, is challenged to be a good person when he discovers he’s the Second Coming of Christ.

The Super Channel original production is scheduled to begin shooting in Sudbury in August, 2015 and air on Super Channel in spring 2016. Executive Producers for New Metric Media are Mark Montefiore and Patrick O’Sullivan, with Greg Copeland as producer. Samir Rehem will direct all eight episodes.

What Would Sal Do? is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with DHX Media in association with Super Channel, and with the participation of the Canadian Media Fund and Ontario and Federal Tax Credits.

Link: Throwing the book at Canadian television

From Bill Brioux:

Throwing the book at Canadian television
The professionals in the room were still buzzing over a fuse colleague John Doyle lit in the Globe and Mail. John asked a very direct question: Where are Canada’s “Golden Age” TV shows?

Well, you can find them in the pages of this book. It’s a 60-page guide commissioned by the Prime Time team–led by president and CEO Michael Hennessy–at the Canadian Media Production Association. Continue reading.

Let’s Talk TV: CRTC proposes measures to empower Canadian TV viewers

From a media release:

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today unveiled a draft code that will help Canadians make informed choices and resolve disputes with their television service providers.

During the Let’s Talk TV conversation, many Canadians said that cable and satellite companies do not always provide enough information about their packaging and pricing. Canadians also said that, in their view, the companies sometimes provide misleading or inaccurate information, as well as poor or inconsistent customer service. The CRTC’s code reflects what it heard from Canadians.

Under the proposed code, cable and satellite companies would be required to provide easy-to-understand agreements to their customers and notify them of changes to their services. The code would also clarify the terms surrounding the addition or cancellation of channels, early cancellation fees and installation appointments, among others. Combined with the CRTC’s previously announced prohibition of 30-day cancellation policies, Canadians will have the freedom and necessary information to switch service providers if they are not satisfied.

To help the CRTC finalize the code, Canadians are invited to share their views on the following questions:

  • What kind of information should cable and satellite providers give subscribers when they sign up?
  • How much notice should cable and satellite providers have to give when they change the price of channels or packages of channels?
  • What would constitute a reasonable timeframe for service calls by cable and satellite providers?

The CRTC is welcoming comments on the draft code until May 25, 2015. Canadians can participate by:

For more information on how to participate in a CRTC consultation, please see: It’s Your CRTC: Here’s How to Have Your Say!

The CRTC will also host an online discussion forum to promote further discussion among Canadians on the proposed code. Details of the discussion forum will be announced shortly.

In addition, Canadians are increasingly obtaining their various communications services from the same company through bundled offerings. For this reason, the CRTC is proposing that Canadians would be able to direct their complaints relating to the code to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services. This industry ombudsman currently works with Canadians to help resolve complaints relating to their wireless, Internet and telephone services, and administers the CRTC’s wireless code.

Improved access for Canadians with disabilities
Canadians with disabilities will have access to more content that has been adapted to their needs and which will provide them with a seamless viewing experience. The CRTC expects that when television programs with closed captioning are made available online and on mobile devices, the closed captioning will be included.

In addition, the CRTC expects broadcasters to increase the amount of programs with described video they offer over the next few years. By September 2019, most broadcasters will have to provide described video for programs aired in prime time, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Finally, the CRTC will require television service providers to make accessible hardware, such as set-top boxes and remote controls, available to subscribers, where they can be obtained from suppliers and are compatible with their networks. This requirement will be implemented by the end of 2015.

About Let’s Talk TV
In 2013, the CRTC launched Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians on the future of their television system, and how it can adapt to evolving technologies and viewing habits. The CRTC received more than 13,000 comments from Canadians during the conversation’s various phases.

Today’s announcement is the fifth in a series of decisions that ensure Canada’s television system adapts to a World of Choice, in which Canadians are watching the content they want on different devices and at a time of their choosing.

Over the past few months, the CRTC has introduced significant changes that will foster a more dynamic marketplace in which there are incentives for: (1) television service providers to offer reasonably priced services that meet the diverse needs and interests of Canadians; (2) creators to produce high-quality, original content that is compelling to audiences; and (3) Canadians to switch television service providers without having to give 30-days advance notice if they are not satisfied, to choose over-the-air television as a free, competitive alternative and to make informed decisions about their service providers.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC has unveiled a draft code that will help Canadians make informed choices about, and resolve disputes with, their television service providers.
  • The code proposes to ensure that Canadians receive easy-to-understand agreements and are notified of changes to their services.
  • The code proposes to clarify the terms surrounding the addition or cancellation of channels, early cancellation fees and installation appointments.
  • Canadians are invited to share their views on the proposed code by May 25, 2015.
  • If they are not satisfied, Canadians can take advantage of a more dynamic marketplace and switch their television service provider without having to give advance notice.
  • Canadians with disabilities will have access to more content that has been adapted to their needs and which will provide them with a seamless viewing experience.
  • Today’s decision concludes the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV conversation, which was launched to ensure that Canada’s television system adapts to an audiovisual environment that is in profound evolution.

Statement by Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media on CTV News

From a media release:

“CTV News is Canada’s leading news organization because of its longstanding commitment to the highest levels of journalistic integrity. With that reality in mind, I would like to explain events around discussion of last week’s CRTC decisions on CTV and other Bell Media news channels.

I reached out to the CTV News leadership team to let them know I felt the focus on the CRTC itself by CTV and other Canadian news organizations would be better placed on a broad and necessary discussion of the impacts of the CRTC’s decisions on consumers, our team members, and our business.

It was wrong of me to be anything but absolutely clear that editorial control always rests with the news team. I have apologized to the team directly for this mistake. Indeed their strong and straightforward reaction to my intrusion only heightens my appreciation of their independence, integrity and professionalism. It is crucial to note that CTV’s coverage of the CRTC’s decisions was fair, balanced and extensive, and stands up in comparison to coverage of the issue by any Canadian news organization.

In short, I’ve re-learned a valuable lesson from the best news team in the business.”