The Pay Television and Pay-Per-View Programming Code Regarding Violence (1994)

1.0 Content

1.1 Pay and pay-per-view licensees shall not air programming which:

(“Gratuitous means material which does not play an integral role in developing the plot, character or theme of the material as a whole)

2.0 Children’s Programming

(Children refers to persons under 12 years of age)

2.1 Programming directed at children requires particular caution in the depiction of violence. Very little violence, either physical, verbal or emotional shall be portrayed in children’s programming. In addition, children’s programming will conform to all of the following:

2.2 In children’s programming portrayed by real-life characters, violence shall only be portrayed when it is essential to the development of character and plot.

2.3 Animated programming for children, while accepted as a stylized form of storytelling which can contain non-realistic violence, shall not have violence as its central theme, and shall not invite dangerous imitation.

2.4 Programming for children shall deal carefully with themes which could threaten their sense of security, when portraying, for example, domestic conflict, the death of parents or close relatives, or the death or injury of their pets, street crime or the use of drugs.

2.5 Programming for children shall deal carefully with themes which could invite children to imitate acts which they see on screen, such as the use of plastic bags as toys, use of matches, the use of dangerous household products as playthings, or dangerous physical acts such as climbing apartment balconies or rooftops.

2.6 Programming for children shall not contain realistic scenes of violence which create the impression that violence is the preferred way, or the only method to resolve conflict between individuals.

2.7 Programming for children shall not contain realistic scenes of violence which minimize or gloss over the effects of violent acts. Any realistic depictions of violence shall portray, in human terms, the consequences of that violence to its victims and its perpetrators.

2.8 Programming for children shall not contain frightening or otherwise excessive special effects not required by the storyline.

3.0 Scheduling

Subscription pay television services will not air scenes of violence intended for adult audiences prior to 9:00 p.m. or after 6:00 a.m. in the home province of the service in question.

The home provinces of the subscription pay television services are as follows:

4.0 Classification/Ratings and Advisories

4.1 Licensees will adopt the current ratings supplied by the Classification/Censor/ Review Boards of their home province. Programming which is classified/rated by the applicable Provincial Board will attract the identical classification/ rating by the pay or pay-per-view licensee. Any programming not classified/rated by the applicable Provincial Board will be classified in a manner consistent with the guidelines in effect for that Provincial Board.

4.2 All ratings will designate the intended audience (ie: age group) for programming or a warning that the programming is not intended for a specific age group.

4.3 The Alberta rating of “M” will be changed to “A” to avoid confusion with the B.C. rating of “M” which is equivalent to the Alberta rating of “PG”. The Ontario based services will change the O.F.R.B. designation of “Family” to the more commonly used and understood “G”.

4.4 Where a Provincial Board rating may be obsolete (i.e. rated more than 10 years prior to the current year), the film will be evaluated using the current practices of the applicable Provincial Board.

4.5 Viewer advisories and ratings (including an identification of the intended audience and/or the audience to which programming is not directed) will be given prominence in the monthly subscribers’ guide.

4.6 Viewer advisories and ratings will appear “on-air”, in both written and spoken forms, in all programming not suitable for children.

5.0 Previews/Barker Channel

Where programming is aired during preview periods Licensees will exhibit only programming that meets the same standards of scheduling and content contained in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming. This same provision will apply to any promotional material provided to cable operators for distribution on barker channels. Any clips so provided which are unsuitable for children will be clearly identified as unsuitable for broadcast before 9:00 p.m. or after 6:00 a.m.