SCN’s dissolution is expected to save the Saskatchewan government around $5 million a year, and $2.4 million for the 2010-11 budget year. SCN cites “poor viewership” as the reason for its closure.
SCN has backed shows like Rabbit Fall and Wapos Bay in the past, helping build a local film and television industry for Saskatchewan. SCN accepts a few original comedy and/or drama projects per year (caution: PDF), as well as documentaries.
SCN is at least being forthright with its closure. A public broadcaster in a sparsely populated province can’t compete against cable and the Internet. At least SCN funds general-interest adult programming, something TVOntario doesn’t do beyond documentaries and The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Even TFO has Météo+ and Francoeur.
The closest thing SCN has to educational television now is ACCESS, where The Listener and Desperate Housewives are part of Alberta’s university curricula. ACCESS is a sad shell of what it once was.
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