Broadcasting Act Changes Looming

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CBJ — Online streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime Video could be on the hook for more than $800 million on Canadian content over the next three years if the Canadian federal government follows through on plans being proposed in a new legislative bill.

The proposed changes to the Broadcasting Act are meant to ensure the major online platforms pay their fair share as the traditional broadcasters have always had to do.

Alterations and updates to the Broadcasting Act would include a new section for “online undertakings,” which would be defined as regulations for transmitting programs over the internet.

The bill would give the CRTC more widespread powers to control such online streaming services and early estimates peg the contributions from those online entities as reaching more than $800 million within the next few years.

Netflix reported revenues of $780 million in Canada in the first nine months of 2019, while the traditional television sector saw its revenues decline on an average of nearly 2% each year between 2014 and 2018.


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