Docstoc

directors_guild

Document Sample
directors_guild Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                      National Office
April 11, 2003                                                        One Eglinton Avenue East, Suite
                                                                      604
                                                                      Toronto, Ontario Canada M4P
                                                                      3A1

BY FACSIMILE – (819) 994-0218                                         Tel (416) 482 6640
                                                                      Fax (416) 482 6639
                                                                      www.dgc.ca

                                                                      Alberta District Council
Ms. Diane Rhéaume                                                     Atlantic Regional Council
Secretary General                                                     British Columbia District Council
Canadian Radio-television and                                         Manitoba District Council
                                                                      Ontario District Council
 Telecommunications Commission
                                                                      Quebec District Council
Ottawa, Ontario                                                       Saskatchewan District Council
K1A 0N2


Dear Ms. Rhéaume,


Re:   Public Notice 2003-12; Application Numbers 2002-0779-7 and 2002-
      0780-5 by Superchannel Ltd. and MovieMax! Ltd. to amend the
      licences of the pay television programming undertakings known as
      SuperChannel and MovieMax! (the “Applications”)

1.    This is the intervention of the Directors Guild of Canada (the "DGC") with
      respect to the issues raised in the Applications. The DGC is a national
      labour organisation that represents key creative and logistical personnel in
      the film and television industries. It was created in 1962 as an association
      of Canada’s film and television directors. Today, it has over 3,800
      members drawn from 47 different craft and occupational categories
      covering all areas of direction, production, editing and design of film and
      television programming in Canada. The DGC opposes the changes as
      proposed unless stringent safeguards are put in place to prevent potential
      abuses by the applicants.

2.    The Pay Television Regulations, 1990 prohibit the distribution of
      programming, other than filler programming, produced by either the
      licensee or a person related to the licensee. The possible exception to
      this rule by way of condition of licence is currently not in place for any
      other pay television licensee and, in the DGC’s view, such a variation
      should only be granted sparingly.

3.    In this case, the key point made by the applicants in the Applications is
      that Corus also owns Nelvana and it should not be penalized or prevented
      from airing programming that is produced by Nelvana. To the best of
      DGC’s knowledge, an appropriate estimate of the percentage of
      theatrically produced feature length Canadian films that is produced by
                                       2



     Nelvana and which would be aired by Movie Central in one year would be
     lucky to reach 5%. There is no need for a 25% cap. It is important that
     Movie Central does not become a destination for the Nelvana library.
     Only if Nelvana produces a theatrically-released feature-length film that is
     the type of program that Movie Central has traditionally aired (rather than
     the programs contained in its library), could a theoretical case be made for
     even a very low percentage of self produced films to be permitted to find a
     home on Movie Central.

4.   That is not the end of the question, however. A key condition of licence
     relating to the pay services is that relating to the expenditures on
     Canadian programming. In Decisions CRTC 2001-736 and 2001-731,
     Movie Central and MovieMax! had their licences renewed with the new
     expenditure conditions contained in them. The pay services are important
     elements of the financing of Canadian feature films. The DGC urges the
     Commission to ensure that any flexibility granted with respect to airing
     programming produced by these licensees does not result in excess
     amounts of money being redirected back to the applicants.

5.   In particular, one concern is that the services could “overpay” themselves
     for their own productions as it is really just coming from one pocket into
     the other. The pay licensees are not subject to the same rules as other
     licensees in terms of the calculation of their Canadian content
     expenditures. If the Commission wished to ensure fairness in this regard,
     there are various ways in which to do it. Perhaps the most effective is to
     say that whatever percentage of self-produced films can be aired in a year
     must attract no greater than the same percentage of expenditures on
     Canadian programming that year. And, of course, if a license fee is paid
     in respect of a program in which the licensee invested, it can not claim
     both the investment expense and the licence fee it pays to itself.

6.   Whatever method is chosen by the Commission, it should ensure that the
     Canadian programming expenditures of the pay companies are not just
     being recycled within the Corus family.

7.   There is an additional future concern which is that if the Commission were
     to grant the relief from the Regulations sought by Corus, Astral would in all
     likelihood apply to do the same thing and seek the same result. The
     upshot, if both were to be approved at 25%, is potentially unpalatable.
     The Commission has historically encouraged cross-licensing between the
     eastern and western pay licensees to ensure national distribution of new
     Canadian productions. It does not take a vivid imagination, if these
     applications were to be approved at the 25% level each, to contemplate a
     scenario where 50% of the Canadian programming exhibited on Canada’s
     pay licensees emanates from Astral and Corus. It is even more alarming
     to consider the result if no brake is put on the percentage of spending on
                                                3



             Canadian programming that could move back and forth between these
             two entities.

      8.     Finally, there is no need for MovieMax! to have its licence amended at this
             time and the DGC recommends that the Commission refrain from
             amending that licence until such time as it has seen what transpires with
             respect to Movie Central, on both the spending and the exhibition, if any
             relaxation is allowed there.

      9.     In summary, the DGC does not support the Applications. If the
             Commission wishes to offer any relief to Corus at this time, the DGC
             recommends that it be limited to Movie Central, that it be limited to 5% of
             its Canadian overall programming schedule rather than the 25%
             requested, and that it be matched by an equivalent 5% cap on the amount
             of spending that can be paid to itself or a related company.

10.          All of which is respectfully submitted.

11.          A copy has been sent to the licensee at the address shown below.



      Yours truly,

      DIRECTORS GUILD OF CANADA




      Alan Goluboff

      President



      c.c.    Corus Entertainment Inc.
             BCE Place, Bay Wellington Tower
             181 Bay Street, Suite 1630
             Toronto, Ontario
             M5J 2T3
             Fax: (416) 642-3779
             E-Mail: kmcnair@corusent.com
4

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:4
posted:11/2/2011
language:English
pages:4