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CRTC asks Canadians for drama input

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CRTC - television
GATINEAU - Last week the CRTC called for comments from the public on how the production and broadcast of high-quality, original English-language Canadian TV drama can be better supported.

The Commission also wants to hear ideas on how to attract larger audiences to Canadian English-language drama programs. At the same time, the CRTC also asked for input on how it could help ensure the continued production and broadcast of popular, original French-language Canadian drama.

In the public notice issued last week (Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC
2003-54), the Commission seeks answers and comments on a number of specific questions and issues, including the following:
* What are the most important elements necessary to ensure an appropriate quantity of original Canadian drama on English-language television and to attract larger audiences to such programming?
* How effective are regulatory requirements, or regulatory incentives, in achieving the objectives of increasing the amount of original, English-language drama programming and attracting larger audiences to that.
* How might the Commission help to ensure the continued production of popular, original, French-language drama?
* How might specific requirements, or incentives, designed to support English-language drama affect French-language drama? Should the Commission develop separate and distinct regulatory regimes, or incentive programs, for the two language markets?

Drama and comedy are the most popular genre of programs on television and in the Commission's view, a healthy and successful Canadian broadcasting system must include popular drama programs that reflect Canadian society and project Canada's stories onto the world stage.

Despite the odd hit, English-language Canadian drama has never had the consistent success enjoyed by Canadian French-language drama. It is also rare for English-language Canadian drama series to achieve audiences of over one million.

Plus, it's very expensive to produce.

Since 1999, says the Commission, only 11% of drama viewing on all English-language television has been of Canadian productions. "In light of these concerns and recent studies on Canadian drama, the Commission seeks comments on potential action to better support English-language drama and maintain the success of French-language drama," says the CRTC's release.
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