Canuck regulator won’t mess with Netflix

Canadian broadcasters had lobbyied for equal treatment

MONTREAL

Canada’s broadcast regulator is not going to force Netflix Canada to help finance Canadian programming — at least not for now.

The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) sent a letter to industry players earlier this week saying that it will not try to regulate the American streaming service.

The CRTC had said last year it would probe such services as Netflix in May to see if they needed regulating. But in this week’s letter said it won’t investigate and also has no intention of making Netflix follow CRTC rules.

Worried that Netflix was stealing eyeballs the Canuck TV biz had lobbied the CRTC last yearto treat Netflix like other broadcasters. The group wanted the company to subsidize Canadian programming just the way networks like Global and CTV do.

The CRTC’s argument is that services like Netflix have not changed the financial dynamics of the TV biz here enough to warrant forcing it to subsidize Canadian programming.

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