News & Events

Independent Producers and Broadcasters Conclude Terms of Trade Agreement

Ottawa, April 4, 2011—

Historic deal redefines the relationship between producers and broadcasters

After several weeks of intense negotiations, the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) announced today that it has concluded an agreement in principle on Terms of Trade with Canada’s major private broadcast groups. 

“We are very pleased to have reached agreement with Astral, Corus, CTV, Rogers and Shaw Media on Terms of Trade,” says Norm Bolen, CMPA President & CEO.  “While it took a lot of give and take at the bargaining table by both sides to reach a deal, the end result is something that all parties should be proud of.” 

The framework deal announced today, while still subject to final editing and internal approvals by the parties, would apply to the entire life cycle of a show – from first pitch, through to development, production and broadcast on all platforms.  Once fully executed, it will apply to all independently produced projects developed and commissioned by the private broadcast groups.

“Terms of Trade will bring greater clarity and certainty for both broadcasters and independent producers in the negotiation of rights deals to independently produced programs.  This in itself will save both sides considerable time and money – money that can be reinvested back onto the screen,” says John Barrack, the CMPA’s chief negotiator for Terms of Trade.  “At the same time, this agreement will level the negotiating playing field, so that neither party feels that they’re being forced into a deal that isn’t in their best interest.”     

Terms of trade negotiations took place against the backdrop of a hard deadline imposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).  The CRTC had stated that if the parties could not reach agreement in time for the group licence renewals hearing, which starts today, it would impose Terms of Trade on the broadcasters.

“We very much appreciate the Commission’s strong support for Terms of Trade, and in particular, its decision to set a firm deadline for the parties to reach agreement,” says Bolen.  “Giving the parties a date to work toward motivated both sides to engage in intense, good faith negotiations to get the deal done.  And it worked.”

Once a signed agreement has been submitted to the CRTC later in the month, the CMPA will begin Terms of Trade discussions with CBC, with the aim of having an agreement concluded in time for the public broadcaster’s licence renewal hearing in front of the CRTC this fall. 

Over the course of the spring and summer, the CMPA will also be engaging in a comprehensive outreach campaign to the independent production community and other key stakeholders to explain the key elements of the deal reached with the private broadcasters.

“Of the many benefits of reaching this historic agreement, by far the biggest is that it enables broadcasters and independent producers to focus on achieving their common goal - creating great Canadian programming that resonates with audiences, both in Canada and around the world,” says Barrack.  “This is a win for the entire broadcasting system.”

About the CMPA 
The CMPA represents the interests of screen-based media companies engaged in the production and distribution of English-language television programs, feature films, and new media content in all regions of Canada. Our almost 400 member companies are significant employers of Canadian creative talent and assume the financial and creative risk of developing original content for Canadian and international audiences. Independent production companies generate most of the $5 billion of production activity that occurs each year and which maintains about 120,000 high-quality jobs.