October 8, 2012
Canada's TV industry could 'face extinction': Peladeau
By QMI Agency
CANNES, France - Pierre Karl Peladeau, president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., told an audience of international entertainment content leaders on Monday that the Canadian television industry must be positioned globally or it could "face extinction."
Peladeau gave a speech, entitled Positioning Canadian Content in a Global Digital World, at the annual TV and entertainment market in Cannes, France, called MIPCOM.
Instead of focusing solely on producing local programming, Canada's TV industry should be developing more TV concepts that it can export around the world, he said.
"If we still want vibrant Quebec and Canadian TV industries in 20 years, we have to start developing strong, original concepts that will be popular across platforms and across markets," Peladeau said.
Peladeau said that exporting television concepts is the only way for the country's TV industry to become recognized internationally and for it to generate the revenues necessary to maintain strong, healthy domestic TV markets.
The country's TV producers, networks and public funding bodies must share the risks and rewards of developing TV concepts, he said.
"We need to reorient our funding infrastructure from being strictly locally focused to also being export-focused," Peladeau said, "with networks taking a stake in the productions they develop and becoming true partners with production companies."
He added that the country's regulations and funding systems need to become more flexible to accommodate the technological changes facing the TV industry.
Peladeau told the audience that two trends in particular are threatening the country's current TV business model. The first is that the country's funding systems rely on politicians and taxpayers who aren't "feeling particularly generous these days," he said. The second worrisome trend, he said, is the fact that the way TV is watched and distributed is evolving.
"Obviously, an ecosystem based on declining funding and antiquated regulation is ripe for a major upheaval," Peladeau said.