Quality over quantity: CRTC to lower quotas on Canadian content on the tube

OTTAWA — The country’s broadcast regulator is planning to significantly ease rules governing Canadian content on TV — in hope of boosting the quality of local programming.

The rules requiring Canadian-made programs to make up at least 55 per cent of local, daytime TV broadcasts will be lifted, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Thursday.

Local broadcasters, however, must continue to set aside at least half of their prime-time TV programming for Canadian content, the CRTC said.

The regulator hopes the changes encourage stations to invest more in made-in-Canada content and help reduce the number of repeated Canadian programs on the tube. It noted the changes also come amid rising popularity of on-demand programming across many platforms.

“We have more than enough money and talent to tell our stories,” CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.

“But the system cannot remain frozen in time when the world around us is changing. That’s why we are adopting bold and forward-looking measures.”

The changes will also require that at least 35 per cent of the programs aired on specialty channels are made in Canada. Currently, specialty channels must broadcast between 15 and 85 per cent Canadian content.

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