Monday, March 26, 2007
There's also a dual problem with switching over to HDTV for Canada from the business end of the situation. In general, there's the consensus among the Canadian TV viewing populace that switching over to HDTV would be a good thing, but advertisers aren't willing to pay more to put advertisements in high definition programming. This could lead, in turn, to more Canadian TV stations relying on High Definition TV programming from the United States. While letting the United States create the HDTV programming that's shown in Canada might be an okay economic situation, there is also wide spread concern that too much American TV programming will water down the Canadian culture, and be destructive in that way.
Economics is another problem with TV in Canada. Right now there are only about thirteen million households in Canada that watch TV. This really isn't that many households to produce TV for in general when it's compared to the one hundred and ten million households in the United States that have TV sets and watch them with any regularity. (Actually there are more people subscribing to satellite TV provider Directv than there are people watching TV in Canada.) What these lower numbers mean is that there just isn't as large of a market in Canada for the production of programming in the more expensive HDTV format as there is in the United States. This, in turn translates into significantly lower advertising revenues from any given HDTV show produced for a Canadian audience than one would earn if it was produced for an American audience. Of course the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) is state funded so it will probably not have the same kinds of economic obstacles to converting to HDTV as the private TV producers.
In any case, the Canadian situation demonstrates how economics can sometimes limit technological development, and it may be that Canada will just have to rely on the United States for its HDTV programming for a while.