Canada Media Fund aims to spur creation of doc fare

The Fund has tweaked the "audience success: original first run" factor to now apply to all genres, including documentary fare, in a move to encourage "the creation of original content" in the area.
February 3, 2012

The Canada Media Fund hasĀ unveiled its latest factor weights to calculate broadcaster performance envelopes from its 2012-2013 program guidelines.

The new changes include the CMF tweaking the “audience success – original first run” factor to now apply to all genres, including children’s and youth and documentary fare.

The aim is to dangle a carrot in front of broadcasters to encourage “the creation of original content in these genres,” the industry fund said in a statement.

The modification is timely: The Profile 2011: An Economic Report on the Screen-Based Production Industry in Canada report released earlier this week revealed production volume for one-hour dramas was up last year, but production expenditures for TV movies and miniseries, kids and youth programming and documentaries was down.

As part of a second modification, the “digital media investment” factor is being bumped up from 5% to 10% to encourage the production of more convergent media projects.

To accommodate the latest factor weight changes, the CMF will reduce the existing “above-threshold licensing” factor, which gives broadcasters credit for eligible licences to fund supported projects that exceed established thresholds for program genres.

So the above-threshold factor for French-language broadcasters will fall to 5%, from 10%, and be scrapped altogether for English-language broadcasters’ performance envelope calculations.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.