Envelopes shrink 3 percent for 2010/11

Canwest and CBC see less cash, while CTV makes modest gain as the Canada Media Fund doles out dollars. English-language drama is set to get $57 million in funding. 

Broadcasters and producers will divvy up $276 million from the Canada Media Fund (CMF) for 2010/11, based on figures revealed Thursday by the new fund.

The amount is down slightly from the $285 million paid out last year by the Canadian Television Fund. The CMF – which amalgamates the former CTF and the Canada New Media Fund – came into effect April 1.

The funds break down to $187 million for English-language TV and $89 million for French-language. Genres supported by the fund are drama, children’s and youth, documentary and variety and performing arts.

On the English-language side, dramas will receive a total of $57 million, followed by children’s and youth with $19 million. About $15 million has been earmarked for documentaries, while variety and performing arts claim nearly $2 million. In French funding, drama will receive $24 million.

The largest broadcaster envelope in English Canada belongs to CBC with roughly $65 million – though this marks a drop from $71 million that network boss Richard Stursberg said Wednesday threatens its prime-time schedule. CBC used to receive a set 37% of CTF cash but now is on a level playing field with other broadcasters.

CMF CEO Valerie Creighton notes the Ceeb’s funding might swing the other way in 2011/12 on the strength of its original programming. ‘The amount allocated to all broadcasters, including the CBC/Radio-Canada, is based on their performance during the previous broadcast year,’ she says.

CTV’s envelope – the second largest at $17.1 million – is up slightly from last year.

Though Canwest’s conventional envelope shrunk from $10.1 million to $5.4 million for the upcoming year, some of its specialty channels including Showcase and History Television saw an increase in funds. Showcase’s envelope is the third largest at $12 million.

Rogers’ Citytv stations obtained $3.6 million, up slightly from last year.

On the French-language side, Radio-Canada commands most of the money with $30 million (down slightly from last year’s $33 million), followed by TVA with $18 million.

The broadcaster envelopes are calculated based on factors including ratings, regional production licences and to what extent the fund was accessed in the past.

The factor weights for 2011/12 will be announced in June, when the CMF will also give greater consideration to the performance of first-run, original, prime-time Canadian shows.

From Playback Daily