Netflix urges CRTC to recognize its existing contributions to Canadian broadcasting

Netflix urges CRTC

Streaming giant Netflix says the CRTC should recognize the role it already plays in helping fund Canada's broadcasting industry and reject calls to mandate an additional payment from the company.

But if the federal regulator does move ahead with requiring foreign streamers to contribute money to the Canadian content system, it says that burden should be no more than two per cent of annual revenues, in line with other jurisdictions.

Netflix appeared Thursday at a hearing that is part of the CRTC's public consultations in response to the Online Streaming Act, which received royal assent in April.

The legislation, formerly known as Bill C-11, is meant to update federal law to require digital platforms to contribute to and promote Canadian content.

Stéphane Cardin, director of public policy for Netflix in Canada, told the commission the platform already makes direct investments in Canadian content through its funding of local productions, and an additional levy could "result in displacement of certain investments."

He urged the CRTC to maintain flexibility as it crafts rules for digital companies to support Canadian broadcasting, rather than obliging them to subsidize certain funds available for local players.

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