Reality Show Promo Not Too Violent for Daytime Broadcast, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, October 30, 2013 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning a promotional spot for The Devils Ride broadcast by Discovery on April 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm Eastern Time.  The CBSC concluded that the broadcast of the promo did not breach the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code because it did not contain violence intended exclusively for adult audiences.

The Devils Ride is a reality program about two warring motorcycle gangs in San Diego.  Discovery’s promo for the program consisted of clips from the program edited together to create a fast-paced, chaotic montage.  The promo included scenes of individual gang members making threatening comments towards the rival gangs, as well as scenes of fist-fighting and a blowtorch being wielded in front of a screaming man.

The CBSC received a complaint from a couple who said that their 10-year-old child had been very disturbed by the promo and that Discovery should not air this type of violent content in afternoon timeslots during family-friendly programs.  Discovery stated that it would not air the promo again.

The CBSC’s National Specialty Services Panel examined the complaint under the provision of the CAB Violence Code that deals with the scheduling of promos.  The majority of the Panel concluded that, while the promo was understandably disturbing to younger viewers and was not entirely appropriate for an afternoon timeslot, the violence was implied rather than actually shown and therefore was allowed to be broadcast before 9:00 pm.  One Panel Adjudicator disagreed and stated that he would have found a breach of Article 3.2 of the CAB Violence Code.  The Panel also commended Discovery for its decision to remove the promo from broadcast rotation.

The CBSC was created in 1990 by Canada’s private broadcasters to administer the codes of standards that they established for their industry.  The CBSC currently administers 7 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence.  Nearly 780 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty and pay television services across Canada are members of the Council.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab