Broadcasters have been hard hit by COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a reduction of advertising revenues.
As announced in the Fall Economic Statement on November 30, the Canadian will provide additional relief to eligible television and radio stations by waiving Part II broadcasting licence fees in 2020-21, which are collected annually by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Waiving these fees will provide as much as $50 million in relief for these companies, helping them maintain their broadcasting productions for Canadians.
These measures will not include financial relief for cable, satellite and IPTV providers (also known as broadcasting distribution undertakings) as their revenues are not as dependent on advertising.
“Canadians rely on radio and television to stay up to date on matters related to COVID-19. We continue to help radio and television broadcasters weather the unprecedented pressures the pandemic has placed on their advertising revenues.”—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
Broadcasters that benefit from this measure will need to meet certain conditions, including confirming a minimum 25-percent reduction of revenues due to the pandemic, and continuing to operate in compliance with their regulatory obligations regarding Canadian content for at least two years. The CRTC will contact all eligible broadcasters regarding the next steps.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has played an important role in helping broadcasters continue to invest in news and information at a critical time, namely through the waiving Part I and Part II licence fees.