Canada producers sound alarm

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Canadian independent producers on Thursday urged the federal government to force domestic broadcasters to increase their license fees for commissioned homegrown TV series and to share rights for emerging digital content.

"The (Canadian) independent television production model is broken," Guy Mayson, president and CEO of the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn., representing major independent film and TV producers, told the Entertainment Industries Summit in Toronto.

"We need better terms of trade with broadcasters," he added, including more equitable sharing of digital rights and increased license fees from domestic broadcasters.

Mayson's call came ahead of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's review of the Canadian industry, beginning Nov. 27.

Undercapitalized Canadian producers said they are on a collision course with domestic broadcasters over how domestic TV series are financed and exploited in an increasingly multiplatform digital age.

Daniel Iron, an executive producer at Toronto-based Foundry Films, told the Toronto conference that Canadian broadcasters are unfairly demanding a longer first window for homegrown TV shows, in addition to their digital rights, without compensating independent producers.

Mayson urged that the CRTC impose and police "realistic" spending requirements for homegrown TV shows on conventional networks here.
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