Display of Incorrect Solution on Contest Show Breaches Broadcast Code

Ottawa, April 16, 2013 - The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning two episodes of L’instant gagnant broadcast on V in September 2012. The CBSC concluded that a mathematical game on one episode breached the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics because the solution displayed on screen was incorrect.

L’instant gagnant is a contest program in which hosts invite viewers to telephone the program to solve various games and puzzles in order to win a cash prize. Each call to the show costs $1 regardless of whether or not the caller gets the chance to solve the puzzle. The CBSC received a complaint from a viewer who complained about various aspects of the program, including the telephone selection system, comments made by the hosts and solutions to certain puzzles.

As in previous decisions relating to programs of this genre, the CBSC explained that it had no jurisdiction to comment on the telephone system or other off-air elements of the program. It also found no problems with the behaviour of the hosts. It did, however, find a breach of the Contest provision of the CAB Code of Ethics for a puzzle that was broadcast during the September 17 episode.

The contest involved the addition of all numbers in an image. The final answer displayed at the end of the game was 1643, but the actual total of the numbers displayed was 1743. V later explained that the graphic artist who prepared the image of the solution had inserted one extra “100” by mistake.

The CBSC Quebec Regional Panel found a violation for the broadcast of the error, but noted that V and the producer had ceased broadcasting this particular type of puzzle and had agreed to reimburse participants of episodes that had been the subject of a previous CBSC decision.

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 760 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.