U.S. series still safe in Canada

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The Canadian government has rejected a proposal by the country's TV regulator to curb domestic broadcasters' spending on U.S. series.

Federal Heritage Minister James Moore said Monday that Ottawa should not impose conditions or quotas on how Canadian broadcasters buy U.S. programming.

"(Canadian) broadcasters have their own business model," he said. "They keep their business models going forward as best they can. Far be it for me to second-guess how to run a broadcast network and programming."

His comments follow a CRTC proposal to use upcoming license-renewal hearings to consider whether expenditures for homegrown TV shows should match those for American fare.

Domestic broadcasters contend that they require the profit generated by airing U.S. series to subsidize production of expensive homegrown dramas. Canadian indie producers, unions and guilds favor the CRTC's proposal for a so-called 1-to-1 ratio on Canadian and non-Canadian expenditures as a measure to promote homegrown series production.

Moore also Monday moved to merge the Canadian Television Fund and the Canadian New Media Fund into a rebranded CAN$310 million ($241 million) Canada Media Fund. (partialdiff)
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