Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that from September 2024, all American streaming services, including Disney+ and Netflix, will be forced to invest 5% of their Canadian revenue in a range of public and private funds, such as the Canada Media Fund, the Black Screen Office Fund and the Indigenous Screen Office Fund.

This new ruling is part of the country’s new Online Streaming Act, which came into law in 2023 but will be enforced for the first time.

These obligations will start in the 2024-2025 broadcast year and will provide an estimated $200 million per year in new funding for local content.   The funding will be directed to areas of immediate need in the Canadian broadcasting system, such as local news on radio and television, French-language content, Indigenous content, and content created by and for equity-deserving communities, official language minority communities, and Canadians of diverse backgrounds.

Online streaming services will have some flexibility in directing parts of their contributions to support Canadian television content directly.   Disney, along with many of the studios do film lots of television and film in the Vancouver area, which might help towards this fund.

Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC said in a statement:

“Today’s decision will help ensure that online streaming services make meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content. The CRTC will continue to move quickly, listen carefully, and take action as we implement the new legislation.”

Canada isn’t the only country to be looking into ways of protecting its citizens and local production, as with the major US streaming platforms like Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, etc all becoming much more popular, local cable stations and linear channels are falling to the sidelines, with overtime would result in less local content and less representation of local cultures. 

As you might expect, the major studios aren’t happy with this new ruling, with the Motion Picture Association – Canada, who represent the studios, said that the imposed on foreign streamers is backwards-looking, with Wendy Noss, president of the Motion Picture Association – Canada, saying in a statement:

“We are disappointed in today’s decision that reinforces a decades-old regulatory approach designed for cable companies. Today’s discriminatory decision will make it harder for global streamers to collaborate directly with Canadian creatives and invest in world-class storytelling made in Canada for audiences here around the world,”

Roger’s Take:  It’s interesting to see how different countries are responding to these threats from US streaming services and a straight levy across Canadian income feels like the most fairest way of applying this to every US platform, as a quota system like Europe has tried to implement is often too expensive and cumbersome to operate.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another price rise in Canada at some point over the next couple of years to soak up the loss of that 5%, which basically puts that cost onto subscribers.  But in the long run, this is a good way to keep funding local content, and it’s hardly surprising that the studios don’t like any interference, because it’s not in their interest.

What do you think of this new rule in Canada?  Let me know on social media!

For the latest Disney+ news, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

Related Article