Canadian television networks spent up large over the past year on American fare in order to survive the recession.

A report by The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission released recently has found domestic broadcasters spent $521.7 million in 2009 on foreign TV programming, up around 36% from the previous year.

Drama accounted for the biggest spend-up for American programming, with $320 million spent on that genre.

US Sports programming was the next biggest with $50.1 million spent across the year.

All this spending was due in part to the new HBO Canada network launched in late 2008.

However, local Canadian programming accounted for $1.08 billion spent across all cable, pay TV and VOD services, a figure similar to that spent in 2008.

The biggest costs were $302.6 million for domestic sports programming, and $183.3 million channelled towards local dramas.