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Netflix Plans $400 Million Investment in Canadian Originals

30 September 2017, 03:51 | Hattie Nash

The Netflix logo is shown above their booth at Comic Con International in San Diego California U.S

The Netflix logo is shown above their booth at Comic Con International in San Diego California U.S

US shows such as CBS's "Star Trek: Discovery" or legal drama "Suits" film in Toronto but aren't necessarily considered Canadian content.

We just learned that Netflix would be playing a major role in the development of Canadian content, with the streaming giant set to spend $500 million over the next five years to fund original Canadian productions.

The Canadian government is pledging not to tax television streaming services as Netflix creates a Canadian division and commits to a minimum investment in the country.

This week on the SyrupCast Igor Bonifacic, Rose Behar, and Patrick O'Rourke discuss Netflix's announcement to dedicate half a billion dollars to Canadian content.

It's unclear whether the C$500 million must be spent on productions directed by or featuring Canadians, or if it would apply to shows Netflix is producing in Canada simply because the country is a cheap place to shoot.

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Existing Canadian program producers are reported to be struggling to compete with companies like Netflix.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, added: "Fans around the world are already falling in love with Netflix originals produced in Canada". No figure is available, but Joly says top-ups from Ottawa will start next year to cover the shortfall. While there are still active hopes of Facebook and Google investing in Canadian content, it's Netflix that's offering up the big bucks.

"It looks like Netflix's submission [to Canada's cultural policy consultation] was swallowed whole and presented as something new, when it isn't", argued television critic John Doyle in a piece for Canadian news site The Globe and Mail.

"The Government of Canada is committed to growing our creative industries with new investments that create opportunities for creators and producers across the country to make great content that stands out", said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Netflix has invested in Canadian originals shows such as mockumentary Trailer Park Boys, which it revived after Showcase dropped it; Discovery Channel's Frontier; Showcase copro Travelers; and CBC's Anne and Alias Grace.

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