CIMA Submits CRTC Intervention On Bell Media’s Request To Convert Much and M3 Into Specialty Category B Services

crtc

The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) has filed a submission, in partnership with and on behalf of 10 other music industry organizations (see full list below), to intervene in Bell Media, Inc.’s licence submission to argue for continued Canadian content as well as continued funding for MuchFACT.

This application is co-signed by the following organizations: the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), Music Managers Forum Canada (MMF) and the members of ACCORD, i.e. the Association des professionnels de l’edition musicale (APEM), the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA), the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC), the Societe du droit de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et editeurs au Canada (SODRAC), the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the Societe professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Quebec (SPACQ) and the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC).

This coalition of music industry stakeholders has come together to advocate for the continued development of the domestic, Canadian-owned segment of the music industry. As it relates to the Bell application, the coalition opposes Bell Media’s request to convert its licences for Much and M3 into specialty Category B licences at this time.

What is Bell Media, Inc.’s request? 

The Much and M3 broadcast licences were renewed in 2011 as specialty Category A licences. This meant that Bell benefitted from genre exclusivity, meaning that in exchange for a monopoly over a certain type of programming, Category A services were subject to a number of conditions of licence. In the cases of Much and M3, this involved higher content quotas for Canadian content, a certain number of mandatory music videos and music video programming, and Canadian programming expenditures at 26% (for both services).

Importantly for the music industry, these licences also included a mandated annual contribution to MuchFACT: 7% for Much and 5% for M3.

Given that the CRTC’s recent Let’s Talk TV decision eliminated genre exclusivity, Bell Media, Inc. has applied to have both of the licences for Much and M3 converted into specialty Category B licences. This means a reduction in Canadian quotas while Bell Media, Inc. has promised to maintain its current programming funding requirements.

So, what’s the problem? 

Bell Media, Inc.’s application does not explicitly mention continued funding commitments to MuchFACT – meaning that this fund could to disappear, should the licence application be approved. MuchFACT, which is exclusively funded from mandated contributions from Much and M3, has distributed over $69 million dollars to more than 7,100 projects since its inception in 1984.

Key points of our intervention:

  • The coalition expressed its concern that the Let’s Talk TV decision will likely result in less Canadian music video/music-video related content on Canada’s airwaves, resulting in less opportunities for our artists to grow their fanbases and develop their careers.
  • The coalition argued for the continued financial support of MuchFACT, as it is a key component in helping music creators and music companies create promotional materials (music videos of all shapes and sizes, electronic press kits, websites, and more). The coalition has argued that the discontinuation of MuchFACT will have negative consequences on the entire domestic industry.
  • The coalition requested the Commission to reject the current request from Bell Media, Inc. and instead consider this issue at Bell’s next group licence renewal period. This would allow for a necessary transition period, where the Commission can consult stakeholders about what conditions of licence associated with Category A licences may need to be transferred to the Commission’s new Category B licences.

To read our submission in full, please click here: CIMA Submission – Much and M3 Licences

For any questions, please contact:
Lisa Fiorilli
Research & Communications Coordinator
Canadian Independent Music Association
lisa@cimamusic.ca  416-485-3152, extension 223.