Fund could be short $103 mil this year

The Canada Media Fund, the main financing motor of the local TV biz, could be short C$100 million ($103 million) this year.

The fund announced Thursday that its 2011 budget will be $280 million instead of $383 million as was original projected.

The drastic cut comes because the fund has not yet secured its usual $103 million in annual coin from the federal government.

That financing was included in the recent budget, which was announced by prime minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government on March 22.

But the opposition parties voted against the budget on March 25 in the House of Commons, a move which led to the dissolution of Parliament and the start of an election campaign.

Fund execs are confident that whoever forms the next government will re-instate the coin but there are no guarantees.

“This is not an ideal situation because we can only commit to 73% of our funding,” said Stephane Cardin, the fund’s VP of public affairs. “So it will have an impact on the amount of production, maybe meaning fewer episodes. That’s why the timing of the next budget is significant.”

The federal election takes place May 2 and fund execs, and producers, hope that the next government will include a new budget before Parliament’s summer recess, a busy time when producers shoot shows for the next season.

The fund provides between 25% and 30% of overall financing for TV production in Canada and it contributes to around $1 billion worth of production each year.

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