Netflix on Thursday said it has met a $400 million Canadian film and TV investment commitment three years ahead of schedule.
The video streaming giant in 2017 negotiated a five-year deal with Ottawa to establish a Canadian production hub that avoided taxes and local content obligations. "We have exceeded the minimum commitment of $500 million [Canadian dollars, which is $400 million U.S. dollars] and will continue to invest significantly in Canada. Our production in Canada has grown consistently over the last several years, and we expect to continue to produce at current levels," the video streaming giant said in a statement.
Netflix has drawn fire from local broadcasters and cultural groups for its agreement with Ottawa, sparing the U.S. media giant fiscal and local content obligations already imposed on Canadian broadcasters and cable operators.
Netflix touting its accelerated Canadian investment came on the same day CBS Television Studios is set to unveil to the local media its own 260,000-square-foot studio with six sound stages in Toronto, where original series like Star Trek: Discovery and In the Dark are in production.
That local investment comes as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other U.S. streamers increasingly make Ontario their latest home away from home for original productions. And streamers from Disney (Disney+), Comcast (Peacock) and WarnerMedia (HBO Max), as well as Apple (Apple TV+) are positioning to launch in Canada against local competition from Netflix, CBS All Access and Amazon.
The Netflix Canada production hub launched two years ago, marking the company’s first permanent production presence outside of the U.S.