Press release

Mar 28, 2019

New report shows continued growth for Canada’s film and television production sector

CMPA releases Profile 2018, a detailed economic report on the state of the Canadian media production industry

OTTAWA, March 28, 2019 – Canada’s media production industry continues to be a powerful economic engine for the nation’s economy, according to a report released today by the CMPA. Topline numbers from Profile 2018: Economic Report on the Screen-Based Media Production Industry in Canada reveal the sector continued to grow in 2017/18, setting a new high-water mark of $8.92 billion in production volume, and generating record-level job creation (179,000 FTEs) and GDP ($12.77 billion). A summary of the report’s findings is available here:

(click on the image below to download the infographic)

“These impressive numbers illustrate that our incredibly skilled workforce, underpinned by strong production infrastructure, have built Canada’s industry into one of the world’s foremost production sectors,” said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, CMPA. “However, the numbers show there are clouds forming on the horizon, which require attention if we are to strive for a balanced sector, where Canadian and international productions reinforce one another, and where there is opportunity for Canadian stories to thrive in the digital era.”

Data from Profile 2018 indicates that although production volume for foreign location and service projects continues to grow, reaching $4.77 billion in production volume, Canadian film and television projects dropped by 8.8 per cent from the all-time peak of $3.3 billion in 2016-17, to $3.04 billion. Furthermore, production of broadcaster in-house projects dropped to a volume of $1.12 billion, a year-over-year decrease of 15 per cent.

Numbers in Profile 2018 also show that cracks continue to show in the current contribution system, which, for decades, acted as a strong foundation for Canadian television production. Contributions to the creation and production of Canadian content by broadcasting distribution undertakings also continued its multi-year downward trend. In 2017, the latest year for which data is available, contribution dropped to $404 million, a decline of $15 million.

In addition there has been a decline in the commissioning and financing of Canadian television productions through private broadcaster licence fees. Year-over-year these fees dropped by 17 per cent, from $434 million to $360 million. And over the last five years, private broadcaster licence fees have dropped by nearly 40 per cent ($231 million), from a high of $591 million in 2013/14.

“It’s no secret that ‘cord-cutting’ and shifts in audience viewing habits are upending the system,” said Mastin. “Taken together, these numbers reinforce our support of the federal government’s current Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review, and with the hope that all players who benefit from our industry also invest in its continued success.”


Profile 2018 provides an analysis of economic activity in Canada’s screen-based production sector during the period of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. It also provides comprehensive reviews of the historical trends in production activity between the fiscal years of 2008/09 and 2017/18.

The Canadian Media Producers Association is the national advocacy organization for independent producers, representing hundreds of companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content made for television, cinema and digital media channels. We work to promote the continued success of the Canadian production sector and to ensure a bright future for the diverse content made by our members for both domestic and international audiences.

For more information:

Kyle O’Byrne
Manager, Media Relations & Communications, CMPA