The Convergent Stream supports the creation of multi-platform Canadian productions. They must include content intended for distribution on at least two platforms, one of which must be television, and the other, a digital media platform. More specifically, the stream enables the development and production of television shows and related digital media content in four underrepresented genres: drama, documentary, children’s and youth, and variety and performing arts (VAPA). The required digital media components must comprise rich and substantial interactive content and can include games, interactive web content, on-demand content, podcasts, webisodes, and mobisodes, for example. The Convergent Stream is designed to support access to Canadian-produced content, anytime, anywhere, on the device of the user’s choice.
The stream comprises a number of different programs and incentives designed to encourage the creation of content from all regions of Canada and in the variety of languages spoken by Canadians. The majority of funding in this stream is disbursed through the Performance Envelope Program.
Convergent Stream Funding
In 2011-2012, the CMF provided $312.5 M in funding for the production of 509 convergent projects, an increase of 8% over 2010-2011, generating more than 2,800 hours of new content. Total 2011-2012 television funding was 12% over the previous 5-year average. Funding to digital media components rose by 48% adding 60 more projects (177 vs. 117 projects, a 51% increase) compared to the first year of convergence. In 2010-2011, the funding budget ratio was 3.5 to 1 but in 2011-2012, the ratio was 3.9 to 1. Total convergent budgets triggered increased by 19%.
English drama received the greatest share of funding among the supported genres at 56%, with children's & youth at 20%, documentary at 18%, and variety & performing arts at 6%. English television drama budgets have risen sharply: 18% over 2010-2011 and 25% above the previous 5-year average. CMF's share of English drama budgets declined from 29% in 2010-2011 to 23% in 2011-2012. The CMF contribution to English Variety & Performing Arts programming climbed from $3.6 M to $11.6 M in 2011-2012. The average budget per hour of English VAPA TV programming has more than doubled. Funding to English drama digital media components increased by 30% although the average project budget slipped. The number of funded DM components has increased in all English genres.
In the French market, drama received 48% of overall French funding, documentary was at 24%, children's & youth at 17%, and variety & performing arts at 11%.Variety & performing arts funding was $3.8 M above the previous 5-year average. French drama was the only genre to report marginal funding contraction, although the budget per hour was 7% above the previous 5-year average.
|$M Funding||Hours||$K Av. Budget/hour||$M Funding||$M Funding||#||$M Budgets|
|Children's & Youth||39.2||353||445||3.1||42.3||44||163.4|
|Variety & Performing Arts||11.6||72||474||0.1||11.7||15||34.6|
|Children's & Youth||16.6||445||146||0.5||17.1||35||67.5|
|Variety & Performing Arts||11.0||466||159||0.3||11.3||48||75.6|
|Total - all languages||303.3||2,801||9.2||312.5||509||1,214.5|
|$M Funding||Hours||$K Av. Budget/hour||$M Funding||$M Funding||Hours||$K Av. Budget/hour|
|Children's & Youth||37.6||304||512||1.6||36.4||312||556|
|Variety & Performing Arts||3.6||57||219||0.0||3.6||48||267|
|Children's & Youth||14.6||369||147||0.5||13.0||341||141|
|Variety & Performing Arts||9.5||359||156||0.4||7.2||234||162|
|Total - all languages||282.1||2,491||6.2||271.6||2,316|
|2006-2007 to 2010-2011, without Diverse|
In 2011-2012, projects were deemed convergent if the television program met one of the following three conditions:
- it was complemented by one or several digital media components;
- it was made available on a digital distribution platform non-simultaneously with its original broadcast (non-simultaneous streaming); or
- it was made available on a CRTC-licensed video-on-demand (VOD) service.
The share of funding going towards convergent projects with digital media components has increased over all languages, with a greater increase in French (+7 points) than in English (+1 point). All funded Aboriginal and Diverse language projects used digital media as their second platform, rather than digital distribution or video-on-demand. Some convergent projects have DM components that are not funded by the CMF; hence the number of convergent projects using DM was greater than the number of funded DM components (in share and number).
The share of funding going towards convergent projects with digital distribution was up in English projects (+5 points) and down in French projects (-9 points). The share of funding going towards convergent projects with video-on-demand was down in English projects (-6 points) and up slightly (+2 points) in French.
|$M Funding||Share of Financing (%)||Convergent #||Share of number of projects (%)||$M Funding||Share of Financing (%)||Convergent #||Share of number of projects (%)|
|English Digital Media||142.5||70||110||46||127.8||69||82||39|
|French Digital Media||73.2||74||98||41||64.3||67||82||38|
|Aboriginal Digital Media||7.2||100||18||100||5.4||93||15||100|
|Diverse Digital Media||1.5||100||10||100||0.6||60||5||100|
|All Languages Digital Media||224.4||72||236||47||198.1||69||184||41|
|Note: One '11-'12 French project that received $50,000 was originally funded by the CTF and so is non-convergent; this project is excluded from the above figures.|
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Sources of financing for Convergent Stream projects
Broadcasters provided the highest share of financing to television projects in all English genres, the highest rate of broadcaster financing at 43% was in VAPA. Overall, the CMF provided 25% of English production financing, the second highest contributor. The CMF participated at the highest rate in the English genres where non-broadcaster participants contributed at the lowest rate: variety and performing arts (over one-third) and documentary (29%). Provincial tax credits and agency funding provided the third highest share of English production funding at 19% overall. Distributors were significant contributors in English drama (17%) and children’s and youth (9%). English producers did not account for more than 3% of any one genre.
Specialty and pay broadcasters accounted for 47% of overall broadcaster financing to English projects, with the highest shares in the children's & youth (89%) and documentary (70%) genres. CBC provided just under 1/3 of overall broadcaster financing to English projects, with the highest shares seen in variety and performing arts and drama. Conventional broadcasters played their most significant roles in the financing of English drama and variety & performing arts.
Broadcasters contributed at a greater rate to French projects than to English projects, with the exception of documentary. French documentary was also the only genre in which the CMF contributed at a higher rate than broadcasters (37% vs. 30%). Overall, the CMF accounted for 27% of financing to French-language projects, the lowest CMF participation being 15% in the variety & performing arts genre. Producers' investment was less than 2% of overall French-language production financing.
Radio-Canada was the dominant commissioner of French television content in 2011-2012, with considerable share in every genre (from 23% in children's & youth to 64% in drama). Conventional broadcasters in the French market focused on drama (30% share of financing) and variety & performing arts (44% share of financing). Specialty and pay broadcasters provided 1/3 of broadcaster financing for French children's & youth programs and just over half of documentary. Educational broadcasters provided the highest rate (43%) of French children's & youth broadcaster financing.Back to top
Results shown in this table attest to the important distinctions in the broadcast landscape in the English and French-language markets.
Digital media components had fewer financing partners than television.
In English DM projects, the CMF was the dominant contributor overall (46%). English broadcasters overall provided just under 1/4 of digital media financing. English producer investment in digital media projects was high, especially in documentary at 20% and children's & youth at 9%. Private funds contributed around 8% overall to English digital media projects.
Private funds played an important role in French digital media financing (highest contributor), providing 1/3 of the financing. French broadcasters accounted for just under 1/3 (32%) of digital media financing, marginally higher than CMF's share (30%). French Producer investment was comparatively small, overall around 3%.