Canadian broadcaster-producer talks stall

Guy Mayson suggests negotiations take place separately

OTTAWA -- Negotiations between Canada's independent producers and broadcasters over the valuation of program rights and payments, including for new media, have reached an impasse over how negotiations will proceed.

Guy Mayson, head of the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn., which represents major producers, believes that broadcasters should be negotiating separately, rather than continuing at the table as a group.

"Broadcasters are competing with each other, and they each have a different business model, so they should be negotiating individually," Mayson said Thursday.

The CRTC, Canada's broadcast regulator, told conventional broadcasters to reach agreement with indie producers on how to value and license new-media product, with an eye to redressing a serious imbalance in bargaining power that producers have with broadcasters over digital rights.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, which represents Canada's private broadcasters, offered no comment on the stalled negotiations.

Representatives for CTVglobemedia, CanWest and Rogers were not available for comment.