The envelope system was designed to provide a greater degree of funding predictability to both broadcasters and producers by allocating funds to broadcasters at the beginning of each fiscal year based on past performance in commissioning and airing convergent projects. The allocation of funds, known as envelopes, is applied to the Performance Envelope Program as well as the Development Program.
The Performance Envelope Program is the main funding mechanism of the CMF. A Performance Envelope is a predetermined amount of CMF funding allocated to Canadian English and French-language broadcasters which they can direct to support production in television and digital media.
These envelope funds are divided amongst the following genres: Drama, Children's and Youth, Documentary, and Variety and Performing Arts. The distribution ratio of Performance Envelope allocations per genre is approved by the CMF Board of Directors.A Performance Envelope is calculated by measuring a broadcaster's performance against that of other broadcasters in each genre, based on five weighted factors: audience success – total hours tuned, audience success – original first run, historic performance, regional licensing and digital media investment. The CMF calculates each broadcaster's share of credit annually for the performance factors by language and genre. Each broadcaster is then allocated a corresponding share of available CMF funding, which is then directed to eligible productions.
- Performance Envelope Allocations
- Development Envelope Allocations
- Performance Envelope: Credit Shares by Factor
- Broadcaster Corporate Groups
On March 27rd 2013, 21 English and 13 French broadcasters received performance envelope allocations from the program budget for use in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. English broadcasters shared $173.3 M in envelope funds, while $85.7 M was shared among French broadcasters.
Changes have been introduced to the 2013-2014 performance envelope allocations:
- performance envelopes were allocated by broadcast ownership group or individual broadcaster as applicable, rather than by individual channel or station, in order to simplify the funding process;
- factor weights have changed for French-language envelope calculations. The audience success–total hours tuned factor has been increased by 5%, with a matching reduction in the above threshold factor, meaning the elimination of the above threshold factor in French performance envelope calculations, bringing them in line with English calculations;
- licences and funding directed toward Convergent Digital Media Incentive projects counted in the Digital Media Investment performance factor.
The allocated flex amount (of 50%) can be used for supporting productions of any eligible genre.Broadcasters with an envelope of less than $2.5 M in both languages combined were granted 100% genre flexibility as well as exemption from the 15% In-house/Broadcaster-affiliated cap and 2ER documentary cap in order to enable them to better leverage their envelope allocations.
If a qualifying independent broadcaster or corporate group of broadcasters had an envelope of under fifty thousand dollars in both languages combined, they were granted a minimum envelope equal to that amount to ensure that they could meaningfully contribute to projects in the coming fiscal year. In 2013-2014, seven English-language broadcasters and two French-language broadcasters were given this minimum envelope amount.
On April 5th 2013, broadcasters were also allocated development funds in envelopes from the program budget, which broadcasters can use to support development projects. Development envelopes do not have genre allocations. Amounts were calculated using two factors weighted at 50% each: historic performance in development and the share of total 2013-2014 Performance Envelopes in each linguistic market.
Broadcasters with a performance envelope of less than $2.5 M in both languages combined are exempt from the 15% In-house/Broadcaster-affiliated cap on their development envelopes.