Netflix Gets Second Free Pass From Canada's CRTC

 Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images

TORONTO - Netflix continues to be bullet-proof in Canada.

The CRTC, Canada’s TV watchdog, this week decided for a second time not to regulate Netflix Canada, or to compel the U.S. video streaming giant and other foreign digital platforms to subsidize homegrown Canadian TV series.

The Canadian regulator, in an April 16, decision concluded it will not pursue a planned probe of Netflix Canada and other so-called over-the-top digital platforms.

The CRTC will instead remain on the sidelines and let the market sort itself out.

“Based on this monitoring and expert analysis, the commission considers that over-the-top programming services have not had an impact sufficient to warrant another fact-finding exercise at this time,” the CRTC argued in its written decision issued on Monday.

The regulator in 2010 completed an initial fact-finding study of U.S. digital players like Netflix Canada after domestic broadcasters complained they take dollars out of the Canadian broadcast system, and need to subsidize homegrown production.

The CRTC said it will continue to monitor the issue, but as yet will not act in the absence of evidence Canadians are cutting the cord in big numbers, or domestic broadcasters and cable operators have been disadvantaged, as Netflix Canada, iTunes Canada and U.S. digital platforms set up shop here.

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