Short Clips of Challenged Programs are Inadequate for CBSC Review Purposes, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, November 28, 2018 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning HIFI’s provision of recordings for CBSC complaint purposes.  The CBSC concluded that HIFI failed to meet its responsibilities of participation in the CBSC because it did not provide complete official copies of broadcasts that were the subject of a complaint.

HIFI is a discretionary television service that airs feature films, dramatic programs and reality series.  The CBSC received a complaint about the channel which identified 22 separate broadcasts.  The complaint alleged that HIFI had broadcast adult-oriented coarse language, sexuality and violence during daytime hours, had incorrectly rated such programming and had failed to put adequate viewer advisories on such programming.  The complainant provided detailed times and descriptions for each instance.

In its response to the complainant, HIFI acknowledged that the issues raised by the complainant had in fact occurred, but that it had instituted measures to ensure such errors would not recur.  When the CBSC requested official recordings of the content for its review purposes (known as “logger files”), HIFI provided 51 three-minute clips isolating each instance, rather than the complete movies and programs.

The CBSC’s English-Language Panel examined this situation under its Broadcaster Associates Manual which outlines broadcaster associates’ “Responsibilities of Participation in the CBSC” and other aspects of the CBSC’s complaint-resolution process and expectations with respect to loggers.  That Manual notes that “Broadcasters should conserve the entire broadcast regardless of how long it is”.  The Panel concluded that HIFI had failed to meet this responsibility. The collection of three-minute video clips was inadequate for the Panel to rule on the substance of the complaint and proper resolution of complaints requires that broadcasters meet at a minimum their logger requirements.

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 5 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence.  Around 800 radio stations, satellite radio services, conventional and discretionary television services across Canada participate in the Council.

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All CBSC decisions, codes, and related information are available on the CBSC’s website at  For more information, please contact CBSC Chair, Sylvie Courtemanche, at or by telephone at 613-233-4607.