New Media Fund helps new media (as long as it’s television)

The Canadian government today announced that it would combine the Canadian Television Fund and Canadian New Media Fund, two government-run funds that give money to Canadian productions, into the Canadian Media Fund, which would give $134.7 million a year to support both conventional television and “new media”, meaning those Internet things.

It’s being described as removing funding guarantees from CBC/RadCan (the CTF “crisis” started when cable companies refused to hand over money because they said too much of it was going to unpopular programming), though the Mother Corp is happy about the announcement because it allows its in-house productions to be eligible for the fund.

The Conservative government emphasizes that the new “fixed” fund will be focused on funding popular programming like Flashpoint, and not those boring CBC dramas that only get a few hundred thousand viewers. I’m hoping this means there will be more Canadian porn out there, because porn is always popular.

So, where can innovative Canadian new media developers get their cash? Not so fast:

“Applicants will be required to make their projects available across a minimum of two distribution platforms, including television.”

In other words, you can’t apply for the Canadian Media Fund unless “media” is television. It doesn’t matter if you’re popular or not, whether your content is primarily video or not. Canadian productions like LoadingReadyRun or Prenez Garde Aux Chiens are not eligible, because they’re not on television.

Just the kind of forward-looking outside-the-box ideas we’ve come to expect from our federal culture overlords.

UPDATE: Michel Dumais agrees with me, and has other critical comments about the new media fund.

4 thoughts on “New Media Fund helps new media (as long as it’s television)

  1. Joe

    I understood this to mean that the it must be distribuited across two mediums, one of which CAN be television. In other words, web based streaming could be one, iTune store could be another, television a third and I see no reason not to include DVD’s.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I suppose it can be read that way, but the Canadian Heritage backgrounder makes its intent pretty clear:

      The Canada Media Fund will put particular emphasis on drama, comedy, and children’s programming. It will also support documentaries and variety and performing arts programming if a project can pass a test demonstrating that the market alone would not support its creation. Because Canadians also want programming on other distribution platforms, it will ensure that this programming is available not only on TV on prime time, but also on the Internet and mobile devices.

      Reply
    2. Joyce

      Let’s not squabble about the television and video industry. I believe it’s imperative that we diligently concentrate on – and make a little noise about – the second component. “The second smaller component will focus on the creation of cutting-edge, interactive content and applications, and will not require a link to television. This will be referred to as the “experimental stream”. This component will use a selective funding mechanism.” Let’s applaud and promote this loudly!! This is the component that is VITAL to our industry! We need to let the ‘powers that be’ know that we are out here, still working, still going and plan to access the funds in this component. The amount of funding in this component will grow if the demand for it outweighs the available funding. So, plan to access it!

      Reply
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