Violence on TV
Children and exposure to violence on television
Canadian policies prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate violence on TV. Work on these policies began in the early 1990s, and continues.
The CRTC's policy on TV violence focuses on these areas:
- broadcasters’ responsibilities, which include the industry codes of conduct
- parents’ responsibilities, including tools parents can use to make informed viewing choices
- media literacy
For details, see CRTC Policy on Television Violence (Public Notice CRTC 1996-36
Broadcasters’ responsibilities and industry codes of conduct
Canada's broadcasters follow codes that:
- prevent the showing of gratuitous or glamorized scenes of violence on TV
- declare a 9 PM cut-off time for showing violent scenes. Programs aired before 9 PM can’t show violent scenes that are intended for adult audiences
- establish rules for children's programs, that limit and control any depictions of violence
- establish rules for scenes of violence that appear on news and public affairs programs
- require written advisories and announcements at the beginning of any program that may contain violent scenes, as well as similar advisories throughout the program
Canadian broadcasters give content ratings for children's programming, drama, "reality-based" shows and feature films.
- If you’re not familiar with a show, watch for the on-screen rating that appears at the beginning of the show, and after every commercial break.
- If your TV has the V-chip, you can use the technology to block programs you don’t want.
- If you see something on TV that you think is inappropriate, contact the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) with your concerns.
If you subscribe to digital broadcasting services (on cable or direct-to-home (DTH) satellite, for example) you can use the blocking features in your set-top converter box. Check your manual for instructions on how to block a program, or ask your TV service provider for details.
Where do the ratings come from?
English-language broadcasters use the AGVOT classification system. AVGOT stands for Action Group on Violence on Television. French-language broadcasters use the Régie du Cinéma du Québec. Pay TV uses ratings established by provincial ratings boards.
If you want to learn more about how to manage media in your home, the Media Awareness Network offers practical support for the home, school and community.
Blocking features and parental control
Industry Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming (Public Notice CRTC 1993-149)
Pay Television and Pay-per-View Programming Code Regarding Violence (Public Notice CRTC 1994-155)
CRTC Policy on Television Violence (Public Notice CRTC 1996-36)
- Date modified: