Bell wants broadcasters to receive funding through the Canadian content spending of foreign streamers

The company made the comments during a hearing on the Online Streaming Act

BCE, Bell’s parent company, wants the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to create a news fund to help “suffering” Canadian broadcasters.

During a public hearing regarding support for Canadian and Indigenous content under the Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11), company representatives said funding should come from a portion of foreign streamers’ Canadian content contributions.

However, the obligation shouldn’t apply to Crave, the Bell-owned streaming service, until the CRTC grants “relief” for traditional broadcasters, Jonathan Daniels, vice president of regulatory law at Bell Canada, said. 

Your priorities are backwards.  Traditional broadcasters, the lynchpin of the Canadian broadcasting system, need relief — and we need it now.”

Justin Stockman, vice president of content development and programming at Bell Media, said U.S. content is more difficult and expensive to access now due to “intense competition” from other streaming services.

U.S. studios are selling their content directly to Canadian consumers through their own streaming platforms — putting our ability to fund Canadian content and news at risk,” Stockman said. 

Bell recently asked the federal government to address the issue in its ongoing attempts to change the way traditional broadcasters function.

In October, before Canadian Heritage delivered its final policy direction on the Online Streaming Act to the CRTC, Bell asked the federal government to ensure Canadian broadcasters can purchase foreign TV content.

In June, the company asked the CRTC to remove requirements on local news spending and broadcasting. Bell filed the application on the same day it announced 1,300 layoffs.

Bill C-11 received royal assent in April and this consultation is the CRTC’s third on the matter.

Source: CRTC Via: The Canadian Press 

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