Quebecor moves on funding


TORONTO -- Quebec media giant Quebecor Media on Thursday made good on a recent pledge to increase spending on Canadian programming to underpin its newly launched Internet portal

The Montreal-based firm unveiled an all-around CAN$4 million ($4.1 million) investment in a host of home-grown TV series, including such kids fare as YTV's "Grossology," Tele-Quebec's "Kaboum" and Teletoon's "My Life Me."

Quebecor insisted the latest financing from its Quebecor Fund was separate from contributions it is obligated to make to the Canadian Television Fund because it owns and operates Quebec cable giant Groupe Videotron.

Quebecor Media CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau this year fought a public battle in an effort to end annual contributions to the CTF, the main source of funding for independent Canadian production.

Peladeau instead proposed to double Groupe Videotron's investment in home-grown production but direct it to Quebecor Media's own new-media projects.

Canada's TV regulator eventually ordered Quebecor Media to continue making investments in the CTF.

Peladeau recently announced the launch of the portal in a bid to turn his newspaper, cable and over-the-air TV station and online assets into one multiplatform, multimedia brand (HR 11/30).

On Thursday, Quebecor said its latest Quebecor Fund investment "aims to foster the production of ... Canadian television programs with quality content and a value over time, and the production of an interactive multimedia product using information technology, namely high-speed Internet or interactive television."