The telecom and broadcasting regulator waived Part II licensing fees worth $36.5 million impacting 242 companies during the pandemic, it told the downUP.

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What’s the deal? In its fall economic statement in November, the federal government announced it would relieve broadcasters whose revenues depend on advertising from having to pay annual licensing fees to the CRTC up to $50 million. Broadcasters needed to show a 25 per cent reduction in revenue due to the pandemic to qualify.

The pandemic has worsened the state of broadcasting in the country in part because advertisers shied away from spending on consumer product placements when no one was leaving their homes.

When asked which companies received the benefit, the CRTC’s communications officer Anne Brodeur said the information is confidential, citing a 2010 policy.

Broadcasters who benefit from the measures do not need to pay it back, unless they violate the conditions of the program within two years of the benefit. That can include non-compliance with their future Canadian content obligations or not continuing to operate as a regulated entity.

What they said: “To date, we have 56 broadcasters licensees (or 242 companies) that have benefited from the Part II relief measures for a total of approximately $36.5 million,” Brodeur said.

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