Back to the future…of television

Even if according to Duncan Stewart over-the-top content (OTT) does not represent an immediate threat to linear television, many in the Canadian industry are worried by the impact of Netflix and other Google TVs on our cultural landscape.

Six key players participated in a heated discussion around these concerns on Monday.  Moderated by Telus’ Michael Hennessy, the panel OTT Services: The Future of Television  allowed content producers (CMPA), BDUs (Rogers, Telus), broadcasters (Corus) and OTT representatives (GoogleTV, Boxee, Netflix) to explain their vision and plans for the future.

Norm Bolen, president of the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA), expressed the views of many industry stakeholders:

Norm Bolen

« These new players need to participate in the ecosystem, and give back – even if they are not actually hurting the industry, they are benefiting from it.  Fundamentally, we believe all the players need to contribute to Canadian content. »

Beyond this need for all to “give back”, Bolen believes the challenges our industry now faces cannot be quantified exclusively in dollar signs: “We are not just consumers, we are citizens.  It’s not only about the bottom line, we can’t always think about the exchange of money between a consumer and a service.  As Canadians our interests are diverse, and we have an industry and a culture to protect. »

Bolen believes bigger ideals should dictate where the industry goes from here: “First and foremost, we need a regulatory framework that will make Canadian productions a priority.  We don’t believe the consumer is the only important variable – we need to sustain an industry and the people who work in it.  We need to provide more flexibility, yes, but we need to provide a framework for Canadian content. »

What do you think?

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