Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
As someone who "benefits" from this redistribution by living in Kitchener Ontario, I fail to see any benefit. The local station has undergone a rebranding, but very little has changed.

I do notice that the news team is a much younger crowd. I read an interview with Kyle Christie who used to work for CKCO-TV, saying that he moved to the Toronto market because Kitchener's situation was unstable. I'm not sure if that is true, or whether the station owners/CTV created a feeling behind the scenes that everybody was going to lose their jobs if the subsidy wasn't there.

I would like to see the subsidy abolished. As important as it is for many markets to have TV stations, I'm not in support of the subsidies. I believe television should be paid for by the consumers of it. If demand isn't there, neither should the television station.

In the age of the Internet, television just isn't that important. If we should subsidize anything, it should be Internet access.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,605 Posts
It would be interesting to look at the books of all of the stations who have received LIPF funds to see exactly where the money went. Maybe an Access to Information request like the many Québecor had sent to the CBC in recent years.

What's good for the goose...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
CTV Southwestern Ontario

@Greg Moore: I have to wonder what will happen at CKCO after the current station "vice-president" announced he's retiring. I bet the Bell Media executives in Toronto will use it as an 'opportunity' to reduce the number of employees working out of Kitchener even further, say, by further amalgamating operations with London/Windsor CTV2.
:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Someone please help me to understand. I remember there being alot of opposition to this fee by cable and satellite companies before it was introduced but now that these companies pretty much own all the stations why are we still being charged?

Actually I don't understand why subscribers are expected to subsidize private broadcasters in the first place. The system should be setup similar to the U.S. with corporate owned stations as well as local affilliates. I am not so sure the fees being collected are actually going towards it's purpose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
I am not so sure the fees being collected are actually going towards it's purpose.
They're not. New assets, such as local stations, are typically purchased using leveraged buyouts. That means the local stations are paying huge sums of money to head office which drains them of resources while enriching the owners. The owners then turn around and whine to the CRTC about how much money local stations are losing. It's all a shell game. Head office can make any station look profitable or unprofitable by shifting resources and cash flows wherever they want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
LPIF is back in the news

Now that there is more interest about the LPIF because of the current CRTC hearings on this subject, this thread needs to be updated.

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/tv13.htm
[Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF)]

http://www.ndp.ca/press/ndp-reaffirms-support-for-local-broadcasting
[April 17th: NDP reaffirms support for local broadcasting]

http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/local-programming/
[CBC and the LPIF]

http://cbc.radio-canada.ca/speeches/20120417.shtml
[CBC's oral comments about the LPIF at the CRTC hearings]

http://cbc.radio-canada.ca/newsreleases/20120417.shtml
[CBC/Radio-Canada urges the CRTC to preserve and strengthen the Local Programming Improvement Fund]

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/04/16/local-tv-stations-at-risk-of-shutting-down-bell-warns/
[Local TV stations at risk of shutting down, Bell warns]

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/canada-shaw-communications-crtc-subsidy-312433
[Canada's Shaw Communications Tells CRTC to Scrap Local TV Subsidy]

http://www.friends.ca/news-item/10579
[Who's paying what into LPIF]

Feb 14, 2012

Source: CARTT.ca

OTTAWA - As the CRTC prepares to review the relative success of the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF), it has released new numbers for the 2010-2011 period, ending August 31st, which indicate Shaw Communications paid the most into the fund, followed by Bell Canada and Rogers Cable.

Shaw (cable and satellite) combined to pay almost $32 million (an earlier version of this story had an erroneous amount for Shaw), followed by Bell at $25.08 million and Rogers at $24.05 million. Quebecor (Videotron) contributed $13.6 million and Cogeco, $6.77 million.

Shaw, the LPIF’s largest contributor, received only $8.06 million in LPIF funding for its Global Television stations, however. Of the private broadcasters, Bell Media’s CTV and CTV Two stations received the greatest amount of LPIF payments totaling nearly $23.64 million in the 2011 broadcast year (nearly as much as its parent company paid into the fund), compared with $6.4 million for Quebecor’s TVA and only $1.09 million for Rogers’ Citytv.

Overall, the CBC was the biggest winner when it came to LPIF funding, receiving a combined $40.7 million ($19.49 million for English programming and $21.2 million for French). In total, LPIF payments in 2010-11 totalled $106.56 million, compared to $100.68 million the previous year.

Groupe TVA’s largest beneficiary of LPIF funds was its CFCM station in Quebec with $2.975 million. CBHT in Halifax easily topped all CBC stations with $5.74 million in LPIF funding, followed by CBVT in Quebec with $4.51 million. In total, CBC TV stations received nearly $40.7 million in LPIF funding in 2010-11. Rogers reported that its station in Portage La Prairie, CHMI, received nearly $1.09 million in program funding.
----------------

Several interesting ideas (and information as to where and how various stations distribute the LPIF) were presented at the CRTC hearings for the LPIF. I got a kick out of the guy that suggested that the LPIF be temporarily increased to help with the installation of more digital television transmitters, so that local programming can be received by even more Canadians. One of the CRTC commissioners found the proposal rather odd, considering that the people subscribing to BDUs would be the only ones paying the LPIF in order to partially fund the cost of the digital transmitters. I understand what the guy was proposing, and since many BDU subscribers also watch OTA broadcasts, it's not as crazy as it sounds ... although as a current cable TV subscriber, I certainly wouldn't want to pay more for that privilege. [see point 4302 until the end of the transcript for the details of his proposal mentioned within the link below]

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/transcripts/2012/tb0417.html
[Transcript of the CRTC LPIF Proceeding: Volume 2 - April 17, 2012]

2596 Mr. Steven Guiton [Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Officer with CBC/Radio-Canada]: The more you spend in local programming, the more you're going to receive through the LPIF. That's the incentive. If you want to spend money in local programming to improve the quality of your local program or the hours, you're going to be rewarded.

2597 I know you wanted us to be brief, Madame Poirier, but I'd just like to say one thing. There was a curious statistic raised to you yesterday from Shaw about the fact that we [the CBC] seem to be getting more than our share of the growth in the LPIF. Well, there's a good reason for that: We're using the money for local programming, and a good chunk of the industry is not.

2598 The way the LPIF works, if you invest in local programming, you're rewarded. If Shaw and every other broadcaster had invested the same way we have, which is taking all that money and trying to put it back in, the proportions wouldn't have changed from the beginning. Nothing would have changed, because you're rewarded by how much you invest vis-à-vis proportionally what everyone else is investing. So the only reason we're getting more than they're getting over time is that they are not investing.

2603 I think there are two things going on here when people have that argument. First, the argument is that CBC is getting more because their costs are bigger. As both Kirstine and Louis have explained, we invest a lot in local programming. In news programming, we pride ourselves on perhaps a higher cost type of programming. We're getting people into the markets. We're doing a lot of non-news programming that's high quality. Well, in order to do that stuff, it costs more, and we're not apologetic about it.

2604 We believe we're spending the money to provide programming that people want. It may be different, it may not be the cheapest. I don't think an objective of the LPIF is that everybody do cookie-cutter, cheapest programming in order to get money.

2605 We're starting, even from before the LPIF. Yes, we had large stations, expensive stations, doing very expensive products. Once the LPIF started, any changes in that proportion were not related to anything we've done necessarily. It's, as I said before, what has everyone else done? If everyone else had invested their LPIF money to produce more and better programming, nothing would have changed from the beginning of the fund.

2606 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So you wouldn't be supportive of a ceiling for CBC?

2607 MR. GUITON: We definitely would not be supportive.

2608 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay.

2609 MR. GUITON: Because I think you would lose the incentive aspect of what I just explained.

2635 MS STEWART [head of English language services at the CBC]: Well, as the Commission knows, there has always been an allotment for foreign programming within our condition of licence. We have actually been grinding down that amount. We report well under that amount currently. I'll pass to Christine for more information.

2636 But the judicious use of foreign programming actually is something that we have been scrutinizing quite heavily and we can see that in our Strategy 2015 document where we have been prioritizing Canadian programming first. We know that when we make Canadian programming and the way that we make it whether with our own talent or whether we do it in partnership with --

2637 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Where do the game shows -- where does foreign programming and foreign dramas and movies, where does that fit into your prioritizing of Canadian programming?

2638 MS STEWART: It can be in support of it but that's why it's actually been diminished. It has diminished over time and, in fact, our licence ends with those particular game shows next year and they are not being replaced by foreign programming.

2639 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: My problem is that you're still spending money outside the system. You're spending money on unregulated services, music downloading services, foreign programming.

2640 Just help me understand how it is that you can now appear before us with your hand out saying, "We need more money so we can do more local programming" and, yet, you have tens of millions of dollars to spend elsewhere. Help me understand that.

2641 MR. GUITON: So, first of all, we were included in the LPIF to benefit Canadian viewers. When we are talking about a hand out, we don't take the LPIF money and we don't put it in our pockets. It goes to provide viewership -- sorry, better quality programming.

2642 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I am not saying you're putting it in your pocket. I mean, you may very well be spending it on local --

2643 MR. GUITON: No, but the only reason I'm saying that, Commissioner Patrone, is that when you say we have got out hand out looking for LPIF money, if you decide to take the LPIF money away from us, yeah, we wouldn't like that. But the real harm would be to Canadian viewers.

2644 Let's be clear. We are going to do less. That's the problem.

2651 We have to balance our priorities. We do have a priority for local programming. We do have a priority for drama. We do have a priority for kids. We do have a priority for lots of different programming and we try to meet that the best we can.

2652 And prior to the establishment of the LPIF those priorities led us to do the local programming levels and quality that we were doing. It was the best we could do with the money that we had.

2653 It didn't mean that we weren't putting in local as a priority. We were. But to give more to local would have been to sacrifice something else. And as a public broadcaster with a broad mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain we have got to do a broad range of programming.

2654 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So you would rather spend money on game shows than you would covering local news.

2655 MS CHRISTINE WILSON [CBC Executive Director of Content Planning]: Sorry. Could I speak specifically to game shows because I know there is a lot of misunderstanding about that?

2656 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I guess there is.

2657 MS WILSON: Thank you.

2658 The role of foreign programming in our schedule, and specifically the game shows, was to support Canadian programming. That foreign programming makes money.

2659 The reason we would be interested in buying it was because it would have a positive margin associated with it that would help out other shows beyond any kind of margin. And that would be, you know, one of the reasons why we would pick up foreign programming.

2660 The other one is, is because we were launching when we picked up Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, which is what you're referring to, we were launching a whole new list of Canadian programs at eight o'clock and we had no mechanisms to promote them.

2661 So what we were looking for was we were looking for a regular way to bring a million people a night into our schedule between seven and eight o'clock that we could say, hey, guess what's coming up at eight o'clock? Rick Mercer is coming up. Hey, guess what's coming up. Mosque is coming up. Hey, guess what's coming up? Nature Things is coming up.

2662 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Fair enough. You're talking about advertising and you're saying it is revenue positive, is what you're saying.

2663 MS WILSON: And we increased -- and it is audience positive for our Canadian programs. We increased the audience to those Canadian programs we estimate by 20 percent because of the lead-in that was offered to them from those game shows.

2664 Now, we are happy to say that our Canadian programs now have grown. They are on their own two feet now. We don't need American game shows to support them at eight o'clock so we're not going to be renewing those particular contracts.

2665 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But your local news programs those are not on their own feet.

2666 MS WILSON: Correct.

[Note: The interesting omitted points 2669-2954, deal with the CBC's online music service and the fact that since the current LPIF only deals with conventional broadcast television, it might be necessary to one day expand the grasp of the LPIF to also include an online presence, so that Canada's local and national presence can flourish in today's digital world.]

3558 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: One of the criticisms of the fund is that there has not been the level of accountability or reporting back as some would like. Were we to continue the fund, would you agree to tighter criteria as far as reporting back on how those funds are used?

3559 MR. SCOTT STIRLING [President of Newfoundland Broadcasting (NTV)]: I absolutely would. We would have no problem justifying that.

3560 I would be interested to see how CBC would justify it because they are getting 2 1/2 times more from the fund in Newfoundland itself than we are, and yet we produce three times more local programming per week, our ratings are double them. So when I heard this fund was being set up three years ago, that was my first concern, was that, well, they are inefficient, they have three times our staff and yet produce just a fraction of what we produce so they are going to be rewarded for their inefficiency.

3561 So I think that is a big component in this. I'm not saying the CBC should not be part of the fund, but yes, there should be more criteria. That's what I mean when I use the word "reform".

3562 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: By that rationale, though, were we to drop the fund you would have more to spend relative to your main competitor in, say, St. John's, or elsewhere in Newfoundland, because they would presumably be taking a bigger hit than NTV would.

3563 MR. SCOTT STIRLING: Well, they get almost $20 million a year from the taxpayer and we don't get that, plus they get -- they have advertising. They undercut us.

3564 You know, my father 20 years ago made this argument about CBC local selling. Maybe that's the answer for the LPIF, is take CBC out of local selling, in the smaller markets especially. Maybe that will balance it.

3565 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Maybe a future proceeding might look at that one, Mr. Stirling.
----------------

Related LPIF thread:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=137582
[SD (Shaw Drect) to begin imposing 1.5% CRTC Fee]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
Several interesting ideas (and information as to where and how various stations distribute the LPIF) were presented at the CRTC hearings for the LPIF. I got a kick out of the guy that suggested that the LPIF be temporarily increased to help with the installation of more digital television transmitters, so that local programming can be received by even more Canadians. One of the CRTC commissioners found the proposal rather odd, considering that the people subscribing to BDUs would be the only ones paying the LPIF in order to partially fund the cost of the digital transmitters. I understand what the guy was proposing, and since many BDU subscribers also watch OTA broadcasts, it's not as crazy as it sounds ... although as a current cable TV subscriber, I certainly wouldn't want to pay more for that privilege. [see point 4302 until the end of the transcript for the details of his proposal mentioned within the link below
It sounds pretty crazy. Why should people who are already paying, and then paying again into the LPIF get to pay even more to subsidize more transmitters for the people who don't pay a cent?

The entire LPIF is nothing more then a giant mess created by regulators in an attempt to fix a problem that itself was created by regulators. They need to simply allow FFC and switch everything to a-la-carte, and if people actually care about these local channels they'll subscribe to them.

If not, then we'll know that people only care when they can get someone else to foot the bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
I would like to see more limits on who receives funds. For example, companies that also own BDUs should be cut off. That means Shaw, Rogers and Bell would receive nothing. Stations that are not digital should receive less funding and nothing in mandatory digital markets. That would cut off the CBC in some markets where it has not converted to digital stations. The total amount of funding should be reduced significantly to reflect the changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
to help with the installation of more digital television transmitters, so that local programming can be received by even more Canadians
I'd rather see a satellite based distribution so those channels can be received all over canada. Or perhaps require satellite distributers to unencrypt those channels so they can be received by anyone FTA.

Also 100% agree with ScaryBob.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
"The tax was implemented in 2009 after intense lobbying from Bell’s CTV Network and Shaw Media’s Global Television network."
Here in the Maritimes we do not have local TV news from these 2 providers but Regional News. What else would you call news that covers three provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI?
The only network that actually can be called local (covering just one province rather than 3) is CBC.
CTV Atlantic news at 6 always starts with the statement, "Live and Local" but it should say "Live and Regional".... Hmmmmmm!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Global Maritimes produces a separate Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at 6pm but your right CBC is the only one who covers all the maritime provinces well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
Also, CTV Atlantic is the only one of the three main local over the air stations that doesn't even broadcast their regional news in HD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Global Maritimes produces a separate Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at 6pm but your right CBC is the only one who covers all the maritime provinces well.
You are correct xxmattxx, Global has been trying to give us more local programming, this season; maybe this is a direct result of the Local Programming Improvement Fund. Only CBC does a strictly Prince Edward Island local newscast, Monday to Friday, however. So far though, CTV and CTV2 does not give us a true local news presentation here in the Maritimes, only a regional one, covering all 3 provinces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
And they cover NB and PEI pretty badly compared to NS.

Honestly the CTV broadcast could be called the Halifax evening news and it'd be more accurately named.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Please, let's try to stick to the LPIF topic. Thanks.
Good point 57. How does the LPIF define local? In other words, how large can the regional area be before it is no longer considered local? Could local include all of Ontario, the Canadian west, all of Quebec, the 5 Eastern provinces, the 5 Western provinces, the Maritimes, or the Atlantic Provinces??? Do they define local?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I also would like to know what local refers to with respect to the LPIF program.
The reason i ask the same question is because CTV recieves this fund for 2 stations that they closed in 1983- CJCB Television Sydney N.S. and CKCW TV in Moncton N.B.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top