PNI policy generates over $1 billion annually of TV spending: report
Posted by Nordicity in Toronto on Jun 10, 2013
The Directors Guild of Canada projects that the program of national interest (PNI) regulatory policy first implemented in September 2011 is already paying huge dividends to the industry, to a total impact of $1.015 billion in English-language production and distribution revenues in 2013.
By 2017, that impact will rise to 1.075 billion, according to a guild-commissioned report released Monday.
The report, prepared by the consulting firm Nordicity, analyzed the likely impact of the PNI policy on English-language television production in Canada between 2012 and 2017. It excluded the PNI’s impact on French-language production due to the well known differences in the two sectors. It also didn’t look at the CRTC’s policies to support local programming, including local news on over-the-air (OTA) TV stations in smaller markets (PNI programs are dramas, long-form documentaries and certain award shows).
Moreover, the calculations were based solely on PNI as it impacted the output of the CBC plus the largest commercial broadcasters: Bell Media, Shaw Media, Rogers Media, Corus Entertainment, and Astral Media.
Nordicity calculated that the single-largest source of PNI spending is Bell Media. It is projected to spend $86.6 million on PNI programs in 2013, rising to 98.8 million in 2014 before ending the period at $87.8 million (see table).
The data is based on information on the companies available from the CRTC and CAVCO.
The PNI expenditures by each company in turn generates knock-on spending, or a “leverage effect.”
Nordicity cautioned, however, the spending forecast is subject to several caveats. Those include how broadcaster spending is subject to annual fluctuations, due to advertising or cable subscription revenue peaks and valleys, rates of foreign pre-sales and coproductions that are also subject to change, and the assumption that current federal and provincial government supports and tax breaks will remain in their current forms through 2017.
“The CRTC PNI policy is not a complete solution to all the issues surrounding Canadian content on television,” the report states, as for instance “it does not address the problems faced by local news in smaller markets. In addition, the PNI policy does not differentiate between types of drama. Since the group owners have increasingly tended to focus on TV series drama, therefore, the projected PNI spending is not expected to give rise to significant production activity in regard to Canadian feature films.”
“That being said, however, it is clear from this report that the PNI policy will provide an important safety net for TV production in Canada in the drama and documentary genres, particularly by independent television producers.”