No promises from Moore on TV

Heritage Minister James Moore confirms the CBC will receive about $60 million in top-up funding for Canadian programming this fiscal year, during an appearance before parliament's Heritage committee Wednesday.

Heritage Minister James Moore on Wednesday offered support, but no new concrete initiatives, for the ailing over-the-air TV industry. During an appearance before parliament’s Heritage committee, which is examining the issue, he said the Conservative government hasn’t ‘made any commitments with regard to the broadcasting industry.’

He did though call for a long-term plan, and confirmed the CBC will receive about $60 million in top-up funding for Canadian programming this fiscal year. The public broadcaster has received the annual additional funding since 2001.

‘Of course, we have our eyes and ears open for what possible solutions might be best suited for the industry, both for the CBC and for the private broadcasters,’ noted Moore.

He added that the impact of declining ad revenues, fragmenting audiences and new program delivery systems ‘is high on my list of concerns.’

But Moore indicated that the industry couldn’t rely solely on the government, and noted that the changing TV environment also brings new opportunities.

‘There is tremendous opportunity for Canadian broadcasters to harness these new trends in digital technology, to become more innovative and consequently more profitable,’ he said. ‘The efficiency of digital technologies and the dropping prices should leave room for effective solutions.’

Proclaiming himself a supporter of both the CBC and private broadcasting, Moore stated the Conservative government will continue its ‘strong support to the industry.’ The support includes contributions to the Canadian Television Fund, soon to be revamped into a cross-platform fund.