TELUS Local Content's Involvement in Supporting Canadian Broadcasting
It is an exciting time in Canada, especially when it comes to the evolution of the Canadian Broadcasting Act and how it will impact the next generation of Canadians’ ability to create, discover and watch original Canadian and Indigenous content on television and online.
On December 7, I had the opportunity to represent TELUS Local Content at the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) Public Hearing in Gatineau, Quebec. The public hearing lasted three weeks and focused on developing a modernized regulatory framework to support Canadian and Indigenous content. Together with my TELUS colleagues, we contributed our insights and perspectives on 5 key objectives that we feel will ensure sustainable support for original Canadian and Indigenous content for the next generation of Canadians.
Leveling the playing field: TELUS recognizes the need to create a fair and equitable environment for both traditional and online broadcasting undertakings. This involves addressing the imbalance caused by the shift of subscribers and revenues to foreign streaming services.
Adapting to changing viewership habits: With the rise of online content consumption, TELUS emphasizes the importance of modernizing the regulatory framework to empower Canadian companies to meet the evolving needs of consumers. This includes supporting the creation, distribution and discoverability of Canadian and Indigenous programming.
Addressing challenges of online undertakings: TELUS acknowledges the unique challenges posed by online undertakings, which act as both programming services and distributors. To stabilize funding for Canadian and Indigenous content, TELUS proposes an initial base contribution of 3% for online undertakings that directly distribute their services to consumers.
Supporting virtual broadcast distribution undertakings (vBDU): TELUS advocates for the development of vBDUs to provide Canadians with lower prices, simplified billing and increased access to Canadian and Indigenous content. TELUS proposes temporary exemption from contribution requirements for Canadian vBDUs to foster their growth.
Sustainable support for Canadian and Indigenous content: TELUS requested to direct 2% of annual revenues from broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) to the creation of local programming. This aligns with TELUS' community access programming initiative, STORYHIVE, which has facilitated the production of impactful and globally compelling stories over the last 10 years.
TELUS aims to establish a flexible and forward-looking regulatory framework that promotes healthy competition, innovation, and the emergence of strong, Canadian-owned and controlled entities. By implementing an equitable contribution framework, TELUS strives to ensure sustainable funding for Canadian and Indigenous programming.
Watch the TELUS team share their perspectives and insights here with the Commission.