June 8 1998

COGECO Program Development Fund offers New Program to support Movies-of-the-Week

Effective July 15, 1998, the COGECO Program Development Fund will expand its mandate to include development funding for MOWs, as well as production financing for MOWs.

In response to industry concerns that Canadian long-form drama for television is an endangered species, Cogeco Cable Inc. has decided to direct 20% of their Broadcast Distribution Undertaking (BDU) requisite contributions to increase the funding available in the COGECO Program Development Fund, and to be specifically allocated to the support of MOWs. The COGECO Fund becomes the only private fund in Canada to finance the development and production of long-form drama for television.

The COGECO Program Development Fund recently celebrated 5 years of participation in the industry. Its mandate has been to support the development of Canadian dramatic television series. Since its inception, it has made development advances to 75 dramatic series totaling $765,650. Cogeco Cable Inc., a subsidiary of COGECO Inc., contributed $5 million to an endowment fund for this program, and it is the revenues generated by this endowment and repayment of loans which are used to provide development advances. This development program is now extended to include funding for the development of treatments, first and final drafts of movies-of-the-week or two-part mini-series intended for prime-time broadcast, in either English or French.

The new Production Program will provide equity investments for MOWs, two-part mini-series and pilots for dramatic series. Independent Canadian producers who have obtained a licence from a Canadian broadcaster, will be eligible to trigger this new funding. It is estimated that approximately $1 million will be available annually for production financing.

The COGECO Fund is a private, not-for-profit corporation established by COGECO Inc., a media and communications company. It is administered by a 6-member Board of Directors. The administration of the COGECO Fund is undertaken on behalf of COGECO Inc. by the Independent Production Fund.

For further information:
Andra Sheffer, Executive Director


T: 416-977-8966
F: 416-977-0694

Claire Dion. Associate Director


T: 514-737-9969
F: 514-737-9008