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Actors side with broadcasters Add to ...

Canada's actors are siding with broadcasters over the fee-for-carriage controversy, but say the CRTC should attach strings to the money.

A group of about a dozen actors descended on hearings to determine if cable firms should pay for conventional television signals with a message - both sides are wrong, but the cable firms are more wrong.

Members of the ACTRA union say cable firms are in position to absorb the added costs of paying over-the-air networks like CTV, CBC and Global for their signals.

But ACTRA union head Ferne Downey says the broadcasters also should not be allowed to keep about $350-million the fee-for-carriage is likely to bring so they can pay more for expensive U.S. shows.

ACTRA says the CRTC must demand that broadcasters invest at least six per cent of gross revenues on Canadian dramas and comedies.

Comedian Mark McKinney says Canadians are involved in acting, writing and producing international hit TV shows, but the way the system is currently set up, they do this by heading to the U.S. and working in Hollywood.

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