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September 11, 2019 5:14 am  #1


An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

There was an interesting op-ed penned by Corus President and CEO Doug Murphy in the Saskatchewan StarPhoenix on Monday. He is calling for a major overhaul to Government broadcasting policy and regulation given this new world of open borders on content and content providers.

He suggests a pay-to-play business model where Canadians will need to pay for content that they consume.

In this changing landscape of more competition, more choice, more programming he is calling for some major changes to how it all works.

Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on this.

Here is the link to read more...

https://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/columnists/op-ed-canadian-broadcast-landscape-changing


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...
 

September 11, 2019 6:31 am  #2


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

He's not wrong. 

 

September 11, 2019 8:22 am  #3


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

Muffaraw Joe wrote:

He suggests a pay-to-play business model where Canadians will need to pay for content that they consume.

I'm committing the cardinal sin of failing to read the link.

I'll simply observe that Canadians do indeed pay for content which we consume. 1. Subscription fees to satellite and cable companies, who pass on a portion to the content providers. 2. We sit through tsunamis of commercials. Last time I checked, there would be no advertising revenue without viewers.

Cry me a river.
 

 

September 11, 2019 9:18 am  #4


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

I read the piece and – it probably won’t surprise anyone – have some major issues with it.
 
He complains about giants like Netflix and Disney+ not having to pay into a Canadian content fund. Fair enough, except they’re U.S.-based companies and thus don’t come under our rules. Nor should they.
 
We’ve heard the argument about a Netflix tax before, but you can be absolutely 100% positive that if that happens, your bill for every one of those American-based services will go up and up. Of course (of Corus?) he conveniently doesn’t mention that.
 
He also claims that Canadians want to see programs that are produced in Canada. Really? Then why are CTV and Global, which rely heavily on American-produced content in prime time, the top OTA networks in this country and not the CBC, which is all Canadian? I don’t buy it and you shouldn’t either. Remember that all he really cares about is feeding Corus’ coffers. What you want doesn’t really matter, as long as he and his fellow cronies are protected by government fiat.    
 
Yet, he also makes the point that there’s too much government regulation in the industry that holds it back from properly competing with its bigger U.S. counterparts. On that, we agree, although likely for different reasons. The old CRTC rules from the pre-digital days are way out of date and need to be modernized.
 
As someone who was grateful to make a living in the broadcast industry for more than 35 years, I’m torn by all this. As a worker, I want the industry to thrive and hire more people.
 
But as a viewer, I’ve long been infuriated by the endless government obsession in making sure the big bad Americans and their programming – you know, the stuff we all watch – be kept out of here or controlled by Canadians.
 
Years ago, I owned one of the big C-Band satellite dishes. Man, those were the days. It’s the closest we’ve ever come in this country to Open Skies – letting everything in and letting the marketplace decide who survives. I was hoping the Internet might solve this, but geo-blocking and rights issues have prevented it again.
 
In the end, I just want to watch what I want to watch on the platform I want to watch it on. Somehow, such a simple wish never comes true. I’m now convinced that it’s never going to happen in my lifetime, and probably not yours.

I just wish I could change the channel.

 

September 11, 2019 11:55 am  #5


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

Reading the article, I am a little confused what Doug Murphy is actually looking for. He says he wants media companies be able to grow and compete internationally.

Well within Canada hasn't Bell, Rogers and Corus/Shaw grown about as big as they can get? He says that internet based international media have no barriers coming into Canada, wouldn't that also be true for our internet/media giants moving into other jurisdictions. And I am not necessarily talking just about the US. Or does he want large international companies be allowed to purchase our media giants? This is interesting since Corus is up for sale.

He says that Corus would like to produce programs that Canadians really want to watch. Ok, do it then, what is holding them back now? Oh, regulations? Is he looking for media companies to produce US or international shows here and still be classified as Canadian? There is a fair bit of that already is there not?
And what exactly is a Canadian program? I agree some regs should be updated or even dropped but some regulation is necessary.

I don't buy the let the marketplace decide model or open skies. Sounds good but impractical.   It isn't available in any other country (even the US) so why would it be available here?  If we go the open skies route then just deregulate and let international broadcasters buy up CTV/Bell, Global/Corus,City/Rogers TVA/Quebecor etc. and call it a day. Oh yes dump the CBC as well while we are at it  Let's be Canadian and just give up, and let someone else do it for us.  

I believe that Canadians will and do watch Canadian programs.  No we will never have 8 of the top 10 TV shows on Numeris (except Quebec), but so what?  That doesn't mean you throw up your hands and say we tried and it didn't work. No you keep trying and eventually you will have another Corner Gas, Murdoch Mystery or Killjoys. That's what broadcasters in every other country do. We don't even have a late night talk show similar to Fallon or Conan, oh yes we tried that 30 years ago with Bullard and Benmergui. Well didn't work so lets give up on that too!

And let's be real honest, our broadcasters attempts at mass appeal home produced programming has been  spotty. We tend to showcase our homegrown shows in off peak hours, and seasons. Interesting how  CTV, City and Global load up on cancon on Saturday evening when viewership is low and many are watching hockey. And we also know that most of these shows wouldn't even be produced if broadcasters didn't have to.

 

September 11, 2019 12:19 pm  #6


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

"CTV, City and Global load up on cancon on Saturday evening when viewership is low and many are watching hockey. And we also know that most of these shows wouldn't even be produced if broadcasters didn't have to."

... Is the Canadian content produced for TV indeed crap? Or are there other reasons Canadians don't watch? In either case, why? And what would it take to turn this around?
 

Last edited by Saul (September 11, 2019 12:19 pm)

 

September 11, 2019 2:00 pm  #7


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

Saul wrote:

"CTV, City and Global load up on cancon on Saturday evening when viewership is low and many are watching hockey. And we also know that most of these shows wouldn't even be produced if broadcasters didn't have to."

... Is the Canadian content produced for TV indeed crap? Or are there other reasons Canadians don't watch? In either case, why? And what would it take to turn this around?
 

Like anything else, some Canadian Content is crap and some is very good. My point is Canadians do watch homegrown shows but because we don't actually produce that much drama for example, it does tend to get lost in the shuffle, not necessarily because it is not any good but in many cases people aren't even aware of the show.

We aren't good at selling the sizzle, and seem to lack expertise promoting homegrown television, music and movies. As I mentioned we don't even have a national late night talk show similar to Fallon, Colbert, Kimmel etc. So there is a lack of cross promotion for Canadian shows and artists.

 Even shows that are well produced and received excellent ratings initially (Bomb Girls) eventually often get moved to non peak hours, ratings go down, and the show is cancelled. 

How to turn it around? Mostly attitude, better promotion and don't try so hard (CBC, eTalk) at making the show Canadian, with so many references of politeness, diversity, multiculturalism, Tim Horton's etc. You are boring people to death...just be.

 

September 11, 2019 2:16 pm  #8


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

LocalNewsGuy wrote:

And seriously, does anyone really believe that Corus, Rogers or Bell are even remotely interested in producing groundbreaking, controversial shows such as those being made by Netflix, HBO and others? If so, what's stopping them from doing it?

Doug Murphy could be speaking about co-productions with Netflix, HBO etc. which already is happening to a certain extent. CBS is opening six soundstages and offices in Mississauga and Netflix is leasing permanent space at Bell Media owned Pinewood Studios on Toronto's lakefront. CBC has also partnered with Netflix with about three productions.

So this is why I was sort of confused what he was speaking about, I am assuming he wants next to no regs which would work well for companies like Corus. But that also tells me that they would only be interested in co-productions with the big guys and likely would do next to no real local content.

 

September 12, 2019 6:56 pm  #9


Re: An interesting op-ed by Corus CEO Doug Murphy

Just signed up for NY The Spirit.

Apple Tunes is also something I sure wish I had in high school with the no moving parts and all.  Kids today...