Broadcasters increasing spend on Canadian fare

Almost $1.5 billion was spent on homegrown programming in 2005/06 by private broadcasters who 'recognize that audiences want to see Canadian stories on television.'

Canada’s private television broadcasters are spending more than ever before on original Canadian programming, because Canadian audiences are embracing homegrown shows. So says Broadcasting 2007: Report on the Industry, which was released yesterday – the first day of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention in Ottawa.

‘Private broadcasters in this country recognize that their audiences want to see Canadian stories on television,’ says CAB president/CEO Glenn O’Farrell.

According to the document, Canadian private conventional, pay and specialty television broadcasters are making substantial investments in Canadian programming, with expenditures totaling almost $1.5 billion in 2005/06.

Private broadcasters’ Canadian programming expenditures have all increased at a faster rate than the growth in broadcaster revenues. Between 2001/02 and 2005/06, expenditures by private conventional television increased from $540 million to $641 million. Over the same period, expenditures by specialty and pay services increased from $632 million to $915 million.

Canadians are reacting with enthusiasm to this made-in-Canada programming. In spite of the increasing availability of foreign programming options, Canadian TV services have increased their market share. Including both public and private conventional and specialty and pay television services, the share going to Canadian television rose from 75.2% in 2002/03 to 78.7% in 2005/06.

‘The audience has spoken; this data clearly indicates that when you offer quality Canadian programming, the viewing public will respond favourably,’ concluded O’Farrell.