Adult Material Requires Later Timeslot, Detailed Viewer Advisories and Higher Rating, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, August 9, 2017 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning multiple broadcasts on specialty service HIFI in November 2016. The CBSC concluded that the programs contained adult language, violence and sexual content that should not have been broadcast before 9:00 pm. The CBSC also found problems with the viewer advisories and classification.

The first program at issue was the reality show 10 000 BC. It was broadcast at both 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm with unedited instances of the words “fuck” and “shit”. The CBSC concluded that the f-word should not have been broadcast unedited before 9:00 pm. It also concluded that the broadcasts should have been accompanied by viewer advisories and should have been rated higher than PG. HIFI acknowledged its errors in scheduling and advisories.

The second broadcast was the action movie The Mechanic, at 3:00 pm. It contained the f-word, numerous scenes of graphic violence, and some scenes of sexual activity. The CBSC found that those elements required a post-9:00 pm broadcast and at least a 14+ rating. Although HIFI included a viewer advisory, it failed to mention the sexual content. HIFI also should have re-displayed the classification icon at the beginning of the second hour of the film.

The third issue was three episodes of Canadian comedy Trailer Park Boys. The episodes contained coarse language, sexual references and depictions of drug consumption, alcoholism, gunplay and other violence. The episodes aired at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm. The CBSC concluded that all of those elements required a post-9:00 pm broadcast for the show and at least a 14+ rating. Again, the advisories should have mentioned “sexual content”.

In all instances, HIFI only broadcast the classification icons for four seconds, rather than the required 15. HIFI was in violation of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics and Violence Code for the content described above.

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. Around 800 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty and pay television services across Canada participate in 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 . For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Andrée Noël, at anoel@cbsc.ca or CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab, at jmacnab@cbsc.ca or by telephone at (613) 233-4607.