I’m confused by the imperialist rhetoric in this article. I would think the more obvious narrative would be “if people buy Netflix they would be less willing to buy Canadian entertainment.” An economic argument, a numbers thing. Why evoke thought of imperialist expansion and the negative aspects therein?
I don’t understand the frame of mind that produces these types of utterances. To me, it seems silly to persuade this way.
And in so doing, drowns out local culture. The CBC has the production of Canadian cultural content (CanCon) as part of its mandate. Why must everyone in the world watch American TV? Wouldn't it ultimately be better if every culture produced their own content and then we could maintain some local identity?
The word imperialism is not being used lightly, here. TV has an enormous impact on a society. It influences how people think, which in turn can influence their politics.
Why shouldn’t everyone in the world have the choice of watching American tv?
If Canadian shows are on the front page, they have a much better chance of getting views and thus surviving, so that people have a choice to keep watching. Canadians can and will find out about the most popular American shows through other media channels, so why do those shows also need to be on the front page?
I don’t know to which front page you’re referring but honestly the comments from the CBC head quoted in the article sound like those of a bureaucrat who’s seeing her power to influence what Canadians should watch being diminished by Netflix’s presence, and being angry about it.
So I don't think the problem is Netflix draining out local culture with foreign ones.
Damn, those imperialist bulk cargo ships...
Many cultures do produce their own content, but it's often less entertaining than American content due to budget constraints, censorship restrictions or other government interference.
I think seeing at this as cultural imperialism is incorrect - it might be so if the US were somehow forcing other countries to watch American content, or if Netflix only served American content, but neither of those are the case. This just a matter of commerce in a global marketplace.
What would be better is people having a choice, not being kept in a government-enforced media cocoon in order to keep foreign influence from affecting their cultural identity.
Regulating media consumption online, a traditionally global marketplace, to your national content is just a terrible idea in every sense.
The CBC has rightly identified this. They know that most people get Netflix by plugging a box into their TV, just as they used to with a cable box. The CBC is not proposing the regulation of the web, it's proposing regulation of a platform that is essentially cable delivered over a different pipe.
Edit: moreover, the content that is on Netflix isn't open like the web, it's closed content protected by regional distribution contracts.
What about YouTube premium? They offer content more akin to traditional television, and it's very much American dominated. Is that "not really 'online'" either? Does it need the same manner of regulation that it seems they're looking to impose on Netflix?
So nobody need fear their favourite Netflix show being taken away. This would only affect what users see when they first sit down to watch. That would have a powerful effect. I think it would be enough to keep Canadian shows going so that Canadian culture can be maintained in a distinct form.
If you look at these kinds situations through a purely economic lens, you won't be able to even identify cultural imperialism where it's quite obviously occurring.
Except it really isn't. Netflix (at least in Europe) has shows and movies from all over the world. Thanks to Netflix I've discovered shows from all over the place and I'd venture that less than 50% of my Netflix viewing is "Americana".
That just literally is the definition of cultural imperialism. If imperialism involves rule by violence, it’s just imperialism, and doesn’t take much culture.
I have no idea if a McDonalds on every street corner is actually bad. As every single commenter in this thread independently discovered, people are free to make these decisions, and sometimes there is a reason why a local speciality stayed local.
But you should really tackle the actual argument being made.
Of course, it's not a very good argument for persuading the general public as most people don't know what cultural imperialism means.
The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) requires that 55% of content broadcasted yearly be of Canadian origin. This just seems like the starting stage of trying to regulate online content in the same manner.
I'm also really tired of this attitude of protecting our culture and worrying it'll be swallowed up by foreign culture. What is Canadian culture? It's always just been a synthesis of foreign culture moulded by our site and situation.
As a Canadian I want us to scoop up as much foreign culture as possible, mix it together, bake it in the oven of our environment, and discover all kinds of new flavours.
Canadian or any other culture is culture produced domestically. Yes everyone can watch the higher production and marketing budget from netflix. But that leaves domestic artists without an audience because they can not afford the reach netflix has.
This ultimately destroys opportunities for local artists and thus also destroys local culture. It creates social issues because a segment of the population is denied a career option they would otherwise be able to pursue.
They broadcast in HD and SD for free, funded in part by public funding, advertising, merchandising, and licensing.
Netflix buys CBC content, and they're not the only ones.
While I might not appreciate her crassness, I understood it as a caution-call for new content delivery companies from other countries not conforming to Canadian broadcast law. Much like Uber skirted taxi laws. I'm sure most people here could run with the like examples from there.
As for the CBC site, if you're looking for a pared down version, they provide rss feeds and their site works perfectly fine as a news reader with JS disabled.
I would love it if the CBC worked with Netflix to offer some of their superior programming such as international sports including the Olympics here in the states.
Is the CBC streaming app available in the US?
Here they offer it all for free* on their own platform and it works great.
*Yes I know we pay for it in taxes and I’m happy to
Edit: Actually the BBC did just what you’ve suggested but rather than sports or news—which they seem to host themselves— they’ve licensed some shows to Netflix like the IT Crowd and Still Game.
Actually that's where my girlfriend and I watched Kim's Convenience for the first time. Funnier than I expected. The parent's really carried the show, though.
> Ms. Tait’s comparison to the Raj came after she had already expressed frustration with the marketing success of Netflix, noting that “it was very painful” to read a recent Vanity Fair article about Schitt’s Creek that thanked the streaming service, even though the show originated with and was supported for years by CBC.
Not that it makes her argument any better.
* Alias Grace
* Anne with an E
* Baroness Von Sketch Show - Seasons 1 & 2
* Degrassi: Next Class - Seasons 1 to 3
* Heartland - Seasons 1 to 10
* Kim’s Convenience - Seasons 1 & 2
* Mr.D - Seasons 1 to 7
* Schitt’s Creek - Seasons 1 to 3
That was current as of July 2018