ARCHIVED -  Circular No. 434

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Circular No. 434

Ottawa, 8 July 1999
To All Licensees of Television Programming and Specialty Services Undertakings
Advertising Adjacent to Newsbreaks or Other Short Canadian Programs
1. It has come to the Commission’s attention that some licensees are inserting a newsbreak or other short Canadian program (sometimes called a "filler" or "interstitial") within foreign programs, and then claiming the advertising material surrounding the short program as Canadian content. This practice is not permitted under the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 (the regulations).
2. The Commission considers that the time devoted to the broadcasting of a program includes any time devoted to advertising material that is inserted (a) within the program; (b) in breaks within the program; or (c) between the end of the program and the beginning of the following program.
3. Therefore, for the purpose of calculating Canadian content, advertising within a foreign program must be associated with the foreign program, whether or not it falls adjacent to newsbreaks, short Canadian interstitials or fillers inserted within that foreign program. Any claim for Canadian content for such advertising material found in logs submitted by licensees will be rejected.
4. The Commission notes that such logging practices have become common and has sent letters to a large number of licensees advising them of the above and instructing them to make the necessary adjustments to the logs so that the revised versions properly reflect the current regulations. These licensees were asked to make the revisions beginning with the logs of September 1998.
5. The Commission was approached by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters urging it not to backdate the request for the necessary adjustments because, in some instances, the workload associated with correcting logs filed over several months would be very large.
6. Consistent with the above, licensees are also reminded that when a newsbreak, short Canadian interstitial or filler is inserted into a Canadian program, the advertising material adjacent to these breaks should not be counted in the duration of the newsbreak.
7. Accordingly, licensees are to ensure that their practices and logs reflect the above interpretation as soon as is practicable and, in no case, later than 1 September 1999.
8. The Commission will continue to interpret the conditions of licence attached to the licences of specialty services in accordance with the practices set out above.
Secretary General
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