Canada Levies 5% ‘Contribution Fee’ on Streamers to Subsidize Local Broadcasting

 

The Canadian Radio, Television, and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said on Tuesday that internet streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime will have to “contribute” five percent of their Canadian earnings to local broadcasting coffers.

 

The CRTC predicted that the payments will raise around $146 million per year for Canadian broadcasters.

 

“Today’s decision will help ensure that online streaming services make meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content,” announced CRTC chief executive Vicky Eatrides.

 

The CRTC stated that the new rule, which will take effect in September, will direct funds to broadcasting content such as local news, radio broadcasts, French-language material, and Indigenous content. The law was also promoted as a job creator for Canada and a way to ensure that Canadian culture thrives in an age of online streaming.

 

The rule exempts some streamers from the 5% tax, including those who earn less than $25 million annually.

 

“This decision demonstrates a strong commitment to the sustainability and growth of our film and television production sector, leveling the playing field and positioning Canada alongside other jurisdictions that have adopted measures to protect their cultural sovereignty and bring their broadcasting systems into the digital age,” said Directors Guild of Canada president Warren P. Sonoda.

 

It’s unclear how seizing five percent of these companies’ revenues will motivate the streaming services to offer more international productions to Canadians.

 

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Todd Fisher

Todd lives in Northern California with "the wife," "the kids," "the dogs," "that cat," and he occasionally wears pants. His upcoming release, "Are You Woke Enough Yet?", is the culmination of too much time on social media and working in the film industry.

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