Saturday, July 13, 2024

Global Streaming Giants Urge Canadian Court to Halt Streaming Levy

Featured Image: Netflix’s comedy-drama ‘Geek Girl’ is a Canadian-UK co-production

Summary of the Article:
– Global streaming giants challenge Canadian court on levy for local programs
– Motion Picture Association-Canada claims levy is discriminatory
– MPA-Canada highlights billion-dollar investment in Canadian content
– CRTC expects levy to contribute $200M annually to local broadcasting
– Streamers question need to pay for local programs and news
– Canada becomes a flashpoint in global debate over streaming regulation

Netflix and Other Streaming Giants Challenge Canadian Levy on Local Programs

In a bid to resist a proposed 5% levy aimed at funding local programs in Canada, major streaming giants like Netflix, Paramount, and Disney have taken their case to court. The Motion Picture Association-Canada (MPA-Canada) has argued that the levy is discriminatory and exceeds the authority of the regulator, CRTC.

According to MPA-Canada, the global studios and streaming services invested over C$6.7 billion in producing content in Canada last year, surpassing the investments made by traditional Canadian broadcasters. Wendy Noss, President of MPA-Canada, emphasized that streaming services do not produce local news and do not have the same privileges and responsibilities as Canadian broadcasters.

The CRTC has outlined that the levy, part of the controversial C-11 Bill, is set to begin in September. It would require streamers to allocate 5% of their local revenues to a fund supporting local news and Canadian programming. The regulator expects the fund to contribute around C$200 million annually to the Canadian broadcasting system, targeting areas like local news, French-language content, Indigenous content, and diversity-driven programming.

Despite the CRTC’s intentions to boost local programming, streaming services have raised concerns over why they should be obligated to fund such initiatives, highlighting their significant investments in the Canadian market. Similar debates are occurring in other countries, with Canada serving as a pivotal case that could impact the future of streaming investments globally.

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