Policy 1.1.11: Programming not Eligible for Commercial Content

Effective: November 26, 2013

Statement of policy

CBC/Radio-Canada's policy regarding the content and scheduling of commercial advertising on its facilities takes into account its primary public interest programming responsibilities applicable legal and regulatory requirements, the well-being of its affiliated stations, as well as its unique position as a predominantly publicly-supported broadcasting service created as a Crown corporation by an Act of Parliament.

While CBC/Radio-Canada engages in commercial activity in support of programming and its network structure on its television network, its specialty channels, its music radio networks, and its websites, this activity is not spread throughout all its programs and services. There are areas where the Corporation does not accept commercial or restricts it. These are:

1. Areas without any commercial content

CBC Radio One and ICI Radio-Canada Première Programming

No commercial advertising of any kind may be accepted for or scheduled on CBC Radio One or ICI Radio-Canada Première networks or stations, except where the rights to a program that management wishes to broadcast are available only on a sponsored basis or where advertising is required under the Canada Elections Act.

TV Program Categories

The following types of television programming may not be sponsored or interrupted for commercials:

  • Free-time party political broadcasts;
  • Programs of national or provincial significance including occasions such as State funerals, addresses by the Sovereign, the Governor General (or a Lieutenant Governor), the Prime Minister (or a Premier);
  • Religious services;
  • National and provincial school broadcasts;
  • Programs directed to children under 13 years of age:

Advertising must not be scheduled either in or adjacent to this type of program except for billboards identifying a company underwriting programming. The billboards must be presented in the minute prior to the beginning and in the minute following the program. The billboards would state: "Program Title is brought to you in part by funding from...." and would show no images of products. Companies which design and make products specifically for children could not participate as program underwriters.

Moreover, in the opinion of CBC/Radio-Canada, the airing of infomercials is inconsistent with its mission as public broadcaster.

2. Where Commercial Content is Restricted

Certain programs that in CBC/Radio-Canada's opinion do not lend themselves to the scheduling of the usual commercial content may be scheduled with less or no commercial content (e.g. serious music, drama).

The following types of television programming may not be sponsored, but may be interrupted for commercials:

  • Network newscasts;
  • News specials, including political party conventions, elections and election results broadcasts, federal-provincial conferences.

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