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Netflix refuses to be dictated by Ottawa

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Canadian executives of streaming giant Netflix testified at CRTC hearings.

    < li class="mt-2 flex first:mt-0">Valérie Gamache (View profile)Valérie Gamache

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The American giant Netflix says it is ready to collaborate to support the Canadian content production industry, but without the government dictating how to do so.

Thursday afternoon, the pioneer of streaming platforms participated in the consultations of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding the Online Streaming Act, which aims to oblige digital platforms to contribute to Canadian content.

In the midst of a media crisis, Netflix argued that the idea of ​​forcing it to pay royalties into a fund intended for Canadian production is simply not an option. effective measure. The American company says it prefers to invest directly in its Canadian projects rather than being forced to pay upfront contributions.

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Among Netflix's Canadian productions, there is the series “Anne with an E », co-produced with CBC.

We consider that our investments that we make directly in programming are more effective than making contributions to funds, argued the director of regulatory policies for Netflix in Canada, Stéphane Cardin, before the CRTC commissioners. /p>

We achieve better results by investing directly in production.

A quote from Stéphane Cardin, Director of Regulatory Policy at Netflix Canada

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Netflix insists on the five billion dollars it has invested over the past five years in productions in Canada. To put that into perspective, it's the equivalent of $2.7 million that we invest here every day, illustrated Stéphane Cardin.

If the CRTC moves forward with setting initial contributions for industry players, Netflix estimates that these should not exceed 2% of its Canadian revenues, but it does not specify how much this could represent. I don't have any money that I can share. Netflix does not make its revenues available by country, explained Stéphane Cardin in an interview with Radio-Canada.

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Stéphane Cardin, director of public policy at Netflix Canada.

In 2022, the turnover of this platform reached 31.6 billion US dollars. The Californian company had 238 million subscribers worldwide.

It is necessary let us contribute in the way we want to do it.

A quote from Stéphane Cardin, director of regulatory policies at Netflix Canada

Netflix also asks to have complete freedom to choose the funds in which to invest in order to be able to finance already existing partnerships. If the CRTC decides to set up an initial contribution, it should be as flexible as possible. There are a multitude of funds in Canada and we should have the opportunity to direct our contributions to some of these funds, added Mr. Cardin.

The American giant does not feel concerned by the crisis which is shaking newsrooms from one end of the country to the other. Netflix believes that it is not up to all players in the industry to contribute.

It is the broadcasting system as a whole which must ensure that there are sufficient resources for information, but it is not the role of each of the stakeholders in the system to contribute to it, explained Stéphane Cardin while recognizing the essential role of the information.

Netflix thus agrees with Rogers Communications which, in its testimony earlier this week, argued that if the CRTC decided to ;imposing an initial contribution which would include a share reserved for news production, this should be a temporary measure.

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