Let’s Talk TV poll: Majority say give OTT a pass on Cancon spend
The CRTC released the results of its "Choicebook" questionnaire Thursday, which gauged Canadians reactions to topics such as OTT services, signal substitution and sports.
In a majority response sure to disappoint the independent production community, Canadians polled by the CRTC via the “Choicebook” public interactive questionnaire said they don’t believe over-the-top (OTT) services such as Netflix should be required to contribute to Canadian-made programming.
Sixty-seven per cent of respondents said they agreed with the statement that online services should not be required to contribute to Canadian-made programming; of those who agreed that it should, 86% said they would pay a fee (.50 per month) to be able to choose more Canadian programming.
The response was one of 14 topics posed to panel respondents in the public Choicebook questionnaire. Over 6,700 Canadians started the poll but not all respondents answered every question. As well, the participants were not reflective of the population, and “reflect the character of those who chose to go through the Choicebook process and make their views known to the CRTC.”
However, the poll does provide further insight into the public’s view of the Let’s Talk process, which will be reviewed in a hearing this fall.
Of particular note to the broadcast industry: 54% of respondents selected signal substitution as the preferred approach to “balancing programming rights and viewers’ choice.” Paying extra to access U.S. stations directly was second with 47%.
Two-thirds of respondents said they want more direct access to American and international channels; this figure went up significantly when isolated to 18-to-24-year-olds, 80% of whom said they wanted more access.
Fifty per cent said they’d pay more to have direct access and just slightly less said they’d still want the access even if it meant some Canadian-made shows and channels would no longer be available.
On the pick-and-pay front, 51% of respondents favoured that approach to channel selection, while 36% said they’d prefer “pick a pack.” Only 6% said they would prefer pre-assembled packages.
On sports programming, two-thirds of respondents to the question of whether sports programming should be premium priced or not (due to the high cost of rights) said they agreed with the view that only those who are interested should pay for sports.