The Canada Media Fund’s 2021-22 Annual Report indicates that its investments in the screen-based industries triggered a record-breaking $1.9B in production.
According to the report, every $1 of CMF funding generated $5.16 in production activity, the highest leverage ratio since the public-private partnership was founded in 2010, helping create close to 217,000 jobs in Canada’s screen sector.
“The industry we serve is on the verge of a magnitude of change—and it’s long overdue,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF, in a release. “We are proud to generate record-breaking production activity across Canada’s screen-based industries, but even more importantly, we delivered over $60M for equity-seeking communities through our Equity and Inclusion Strategy. One of our main priorities is to ensure a truly accessible and inclusive screen sector that supports all storytellers in bringing their stories to screens here at home and beyond our borders.”
CMF programs delivered $359M in funding for the development, production, promotion, and export of 1,433 television and digital media projects in 2021-22.
Domestically produced programs accounted for 36% of full-day viewing in English-language television, up one percentage point from the previous year, according to Numeris data cited in the report that does not include SVOD/VOD viewing. During peak viewing hours, 33% of English-language television viewing was devoted to Canadian programming, up two percentage points from the previous year. Total tuning to all linear television, both Canadian and foreign, decreased by six per cent in 2020-21, stemming primarily from a substantial decrease in foreign linear viewing, driven by viewers tuning into more domestic news during the pandemic.
In 2020-21, ODM (on-demand measurement, which tracks viewing on set-top box VOD services or broadcaster websites) tuning remained consistent with that of the previous year, while linear tuning of CMF-funded projects declined by eight per cent from the previous year. CMF says the all-time low was primarily driven by declines in viewing of CMF-funded Children’s & Youth and Drama programming as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns and continued stay-at-home orders that saw consumers look to OTT platforms for content, especially in those genres.
Four CMF-funded programs airing in the 2020-21 broadcast year achieved average audiences of over 1 million viewers, one less than in 2019-20. Eight of the top 10 programs were in the Drama genre, achieving audiences that ranged from 688,000 to 1.6 million viewers.
The top-performing CMF-funded English-language program, Global’s Departure, averaged over 1.6 million viewers over its six-episode run. It was also the top domestic program in a CMF-funded genre. That was followed by Global’s Private Eyes at almost 1.2 million, followed by CBC’s Canada’s New Year’s Eve: Countdown to 2020 at over 1.1 million. The top domestic program overall was the World Junior Hockey – Canada vs. USA Gold Medal Game with over 3 million viewers. Comparatively, the top-performing foreign program in a CMF-supported genre, The Good Doctor, attracted an audience of 2.3 million viewers.
Canadian programs continued to account for most of the viewing in the French-language market with a 65% share of full-day viewing, up one percentage point from the previous year. In peak hours, the share of viewing of Canadian programs in 2020-21 rose by one point to 66%.
*In an earlier version of this story, we published a chart with the Top Ten List of CMF-Funded Programs in which CMF mistakenly attributed Departure to CTV. Departure is in fact broadcast by Global.
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