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The Week in Review: Can CanCon Rules Survive Netflix?

This week, we learned that about one in five Canadian television subscribers has said goodbye to cable or satellite contracts and opted to get his TV fix from streaming and over-the-air sources instead. This makes me wonder about the future of Canadian content rules. Mandating the percentage of CanCon that gets aired works in the cable monopoly model, but it's a tough feat when consumers are selecting and purchasing what they will watch on an individual show-by-show basis. Government's attempts at force-feeding viewers particular categories of pedigreed entertainment are going to become a losing proposition.
Alamy

This week, we learned that about one in 50 Canadian television subscribers has said goodbye to cable or satellite contracts and opted to get his TV fix from streaming and over-the-air sources instead. More customers are soon expected to follow -- and why not? Netflix, Apple TV, network websites and the like are all a welcome alternative to pricey cable and satellite packages that force us to pay for a lot of content we don't want just to access the handful of shows that we do. This makes me wonder about the future of Canadian content rules. Mandating the percentage of CanCon that gets aired works in the cable monopoly model, but it's a tough feat when consumers are selecting and purchasing what they will watch on an individual show-by-show basis. That doesn't mean Canadian TV won't get seen. Many homegrown offerings are popular enough that viewers will happily pick them up from the alternative sources. It does, however, mean that as time goes on, government's attempts at force-feeding viewers particular categories of pedigreed entertainment are going to become a losing proposition. Which is perfectly fine by me.

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