CRTC on Over-The-Top Video: Opportunity Not Threat

CRTC Commissioner Peter Menzies delivered a speech for Len Katz yesterday at the Banff World Media Festival, which featured some notable comments about over-the-video services such as Netflix:

OTT is an exciting new way to reach out to people. Let’s not think of it as a threat to Canadian content. Let’s think of it as an opportunity for Canadian content—an opportunity to export and promote it around the world. Canadians have the talent and creativity to produce programming that can connect with audiences around the globe: our documentaries, our drama, our comedies, our variety and children’s programming. We have been relying on a subsidized regime to support our own programming so that it can compete with programming supported by a much larger audience base. This model is becoming less and less relevant. 


  1. Rod Gustafson says:

    Wise words from the CRTC!?
    How refreshing to hear these comments! Rather than wondering how we can filter/block/legislate Netflix what we really should be doing is selling Netflix on the idea of a “Canadian” channel that offers all the Canadian content in one section. (Or we need to create CanFlix.)

    Funny — I subscribed to Netflix last year and found both my kids watching Canadian shows (Heartland was a favourite) and British content. From what I observed the U.S. offerings were the least viewed in our home.

  2. Jean-Francois Mezei says:

    In 1995, I learned what the “global village” was all about when I landed in Melbourne Australia. McCain’s pizza pockets advertised on TV, Céline Dion on radio, kids hooked to Nintendo boxes etc. The internet has made this even stronger where more and more, there is a global shared culture.

    You can either coocoon yourself to preserve your local culture, you can just blindly adopt the new global culture (the default) or you can participate in the global culture by making some of your own content part of that culture.

    OTT makes it much easier for canadians to produce content that will be consumed globally and become part of that global culture. In the past, someone like Céline Dion had to get support from record labels to be exported out of Québec to english canada and then if lucky, to the USA and then if lucky to the rest of the world.

    All that is left is to fnd a way to make sufficient amount of money on OTT to justify producing high quality entertainment..