Tag Archives: Industry News

What Netflix’s half a billion CAD investment in Canada is really about

From Corie Wright, Director, Global Public Policy of Netflix:

Last week, we received approval under the Investment Canada Act from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Hon. Melanie Joly, to create Netflix Canadaa new home for Netflix original productions in Canada. It’s our first permanent production presence outside of the U.S. Netflix will use Netflix Canada to work directly with Canadian producers, creators, talent and crews to create more great content.

As part of this approval, Netflix committed to invest at least half a billion CAD in movies and television shows produced in Canada, both in English and in French, over the next five years. This means certainty that Netflix will continue to play a large role in the Canadian production community. We have invested in Canada because Canadians make great global stories. That says more about the quality and strength of Canadian content, talent, and crew than a commitment of any dollar amount.

We have more work to do when it comes to finding great stories from Quebec told in French. That is why on top of the half a billion CAD investment, we made a commitment to invest CAD $25 million dollars in market development activities over five years. Netflix will use that additional investment to host pitch days, recruitment events, and support local cultural events to ensure Netflix Canada reaches vibrant Canadian production communities, including the French-language community in Quebec.

Setting the record straight

Since the announcement we’ve seen lots of excitement, questions, and even some conspiracy theories about our investment. We’d like to set the record straight:

  • The recent price increase has nothing to do with our investment or commitments. That price increase was planned a long time ago.
  • We have not made any deals about taxesOur investment was approved under the Investment Canada Act. No tax deals were part of the approval to launch our new Canadian presence.
  • Netflix follows tax laws everywhere we operate. Under Canadian law, foreign online services like Netflix aren’t required to collect and remit sales tax.

Netflix is an online service, not a broadcaster

Some say Netflix got special treatment because the government didn’t force us to meet special content quotas as part of our investment — that’s wrong. Netflix is an online service, not a broadcaster. No online media service — foreign or domestic — is subject to traditional broadcast media regulations like quotas or content levies; they’re also not eligible for the regulatory benefits that traditional media enjoy. The CRTC decided in 1999 (before Netflix even had a streaming service) that these regulations would not apply to internet-based media. We think that’s the right approach. Internet-native, on-demand services like Netflix are consumer-driven and operate on the open internet. We don’t use public property like broadcast spectrum or rights of way and we don’t receive the regulatory protections and benefits that broadcasters get (and, by the way, we’re not asking for them).

Canada’s exceptional, world-class stories and production community

People choose what they want to watch on our service so we have to invest in the best content from around the world. We didn’t invest in ANNEFrontierTravelers or Alias Grace to fill a quota, we invested because they are great global stories. We will continue to invest in great Canadian content, and in other productions made in Canada like Hemlock GroveA Series of Unfortunate Events, and Okja, that are not Canadian content but that make use of, and showcase to the world, Canada’s outstanding talent, facilities, resources and locations.

What’s next

We understand that people are curious and eager for immediate details about what comes next. But remember: our commitment marks a long term investment in Canada — not just a next week, next month, or next year investment. That means that now that we’ve been given the green light to establish a local production presence, we have some planning and hard work to do before we can make any additional official announcements.

There is more to come. Stay tuned….

– Corie Wright, Director, Global Public Policy




TSN Mourns the Passing of Iconic Curling Broadcaster Ray Turnbull

From a media release:

TSN mourns the passing of Ray Turnbull, an iconic Canadian curling analyst and competitor and fan-favourite broadcaster. A standout competitive curler and instructor as well as broadcaster, Turnbull was inducted as a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 as both a curler and a builder, and was also inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in 2013 and the World Curling Hall of Fame in 2015.

“Ray set the standard for curling broadcasting in Canada, and was instrumental in developing and building our world-class curling coverage,” said Mark Milliere, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, TSN. “A true champion, Turnbull’s expertise on and off the ice, his warm nature and distinct charm and personality elevated his craft and made him a fan-favourite for Canadians nationwide. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Ray’s family and friends. His legacy upon curling in Canada will always be remembered.”

With a career spanning over 25 years, Turnbull joined TSN in 1984. He was the long-time face of the network’s curling coverage alongside Vic Rauter, becoming one of curling’s most familiar and trusted voices providing expert analysis on a slate of major tournaments including the Tim Hortons Brier, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, World Championships, and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Turnbull retired from TSN at the end of the 2009-2010 season.

Affectionately known as “Moosie,” Turnbull was a 1965 Brier champion and travelled the world teaching the game and introducing people to it. He played a crucial role in the creation of a junior-age national championship with the Canadian Curling Association (now Curling Canada), and was responsible for developing various teaching techniques. Turnbull also worked as an official, and was among the first to provide formal instruction for players and coaches in Canada and around the world.

“For 25 years, along with Linda Moore, we were broadcast partners travelling from one side of the country to the other through cities and towns, and also around the world,” said TSN’s Vic Rauter. “Curling was in his heart and in his blood. His love for the game, the athletes, and the fans was unquestioned and it showed. He will truly be missed.”



History announces production on original First World War docudrama 100 Days to Victory

From a media release:

The gripping story of the Allies’ collaborative efforts to end the First World War and Canada’s crucial role within those victories is coming to HISTORY® Fall 2018, as production begins on the new original docudrama, 100 Days to Victory (2×60). The two-part series is set to air during HISTORY’s annual Days of Remembrance programming, timed to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the First World War’s conclusion.

Through cinematic recreations of crucial battles and insights with top historians, the series tells the story of the courageous contributions in the final days of the First World War, including Canada’s pivotal role. Commissioned by Corus Entertainment’s HISTORY, this international co-production is produced by Canada’s Bristow Global Media and Australia’s Electric Pictures.

The last 100 days of the First World War were triumphant thanks in many ways to visionary leadership, revolutionary tactics, and the tenacious resolve of Canadian and Allied forces. This marked a major turning point in the four-year struggle to defeat Germany. Often overshadowed by earlier battles, 100 Days to Victory highlights the untold coming together of five leaders from five countries including General Arthur Currie (Canada), General John Monash (Australia), Marshal Ferdinand Foch (France), Field Marshal Douglas Haig (Britain) and General John J. Pershing (United States).

The dramatic First World War retelling will be shot in Canada and is produced by Bristow Global Media and Electric Pictures in association with Corus Entertainment’s HISTORY.




Link: Children’s programmer DHX puts itself on the block

From Jeffrey Jones of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Children’s programmer DHX puts itself on the block
The Canadian programming company that shelled out $345-million (U.S.) this year for a majority stake in all things Charlie Brown and Snoopy has hung out a for-sale sign.

DHX Media Ltd., the Halifax-based children’s content producer, said it is launching a search for strategic alternatives, which could mean a sale of all or part of the company, a merger or some other arrangement aimed at boosting value for shareholders. Continue reading.




Link: Mélanie Joly’s Netflix deal fails to address the real issues for Canadian content creators

From Kate Taylor of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Mélanie Joly’s Netflix deal fails to address the real issues for Canadian content creators
Is any of this going to change with the sparkly $500-million five-year Netflix deal that Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly announced Thursday as she unveiled her new cultural policy? Not likely. The deal, which coincides with a commitment not to tax online services, is merely political cover for Joly as she fails to resolve the central issue her review was supposed to address: how to update analog-era supports for Canadian creators so that they can thrive in the digital age. Continue reading.