Canada’s newest digi-nets now know the parameters within which to develop their schedules. The Canadian regulatory body has released the conditions of license for the 289 winning applicants, 16 of which are English language channels with guaranteed carriage. One of the key conditions is the amount of Canadian content each channel is required to air. The breakdown for six channels with high doc potential are as follows:
The Canadian Documentary Channel will focus on long-form docs, and must broadcast 66% Can-con each year for the first six of its license, raising the bar to 75% by year seven.
The Biography Channel, a partnership between Rogers Broadcasting and Shaw Communications in Canada, and A&E in the U.S., will start with only 25% Can-con and work up to 50% by year five. The channel estimates that 95% of its Canadian programming expenditures will go to indies.
Health Network Canada will start with a minimum of 60% Can-con and build towards 70% by year seven. At least 35% of all original Canadian programming will be from indies.
TechTV Canada will start with 25% Can-con and increase by 5% each year until achieving 50%. TechTV is a joint venture between Rogers and Shaw, along with TechTV in the U.S.
Wisdom: Canada’s Body, Mind & Spirit Channel will start at 50% and increase to 60% over the course of its seven-year license. Wisdom estimates that it will air 6,000 hours of
original Canadian programs over the license term.
The Independent Film Channel Canada will have 40% Can-con in the beginning, increasing to 50% for evenings and 60% for days. The channel will devote at least 50% of its budget to indies, with all copyrights for acquired programming remaining with the indie filmmaker.