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An empirical analysis of viewer demand for U.S. programming and the effect of Canadian broadcasting regulations


  • C. Leigh Anderson

    (Department of Public Administration, Carleton University, Northfield, Minnesota)

  • Gene Swimmer

    (Department of Public Administration, Carleton University, Northfield, Minnesota)

  • Wing Suen

    (Department of Economics, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong)


Using viewer share and rating points for the Toronto|Hamilton television market, we estimate the demand for U.S. programs retransmitted in Canada and test several hypotheses on the effect of domestic content regulation, program type, simulcasting regulations, network affiliation, and other broadcasting variables on audience size. These estimates have general implications for the current trade debate over the cultural industries. More specifically, our results provide support for some U.S. rights holders arguing for greater compensation for the retransmission of programs in Canada, and they raise questions about the publicly stated rationale of domestic content quotas generating net social benefits. These results can generalize to the many European Union and English-speaking countries using similar domestic content quotas.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Leigh Anderson & Gene Swimmer & Wing Suen, 1997. "An empirical analysis of viewer demand for U.S. programming and the effect of Canadian broadcasting regulations," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 525-540.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:16:y:1997:i:4:p:525-540
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199723)16:4<525::AID-PAM1>3.0.CO;2-I

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. C. Leigh Anderson, 1992. "Canadian Content Laws and Programming Diversity," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 18(2), pages 166-175, June.
    2. Anthony E. Boardman & Aidan R. Vining, 1984. "Canadian and British TV Markets: Why the CBC Should Not Be Like the BBC [Market Structure and Television Programming Performance in Canada and the U.K.]," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 10(3), pages 347-352, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bekkali, Mukhtar & Beghin, John C., 2005. "Economics of Domestic Cultural Content Protection in Broadcasting, The," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12476, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Lawson A.W. Hunter, Q.C. & Edward Iacobucci & Michael J. Trebilcock, 2010. "Scrambled Signals: Canadian Content Policies in a World of Technological Abundance," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 301, January.

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