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November 18, 2020 6:01 pm  #1


CBSC Comes Down On CFTO News Over On Air Crave Segment

The CBSC, Canadian broadcasters' voluntary body that probes viewer complaints so the CRTC won't intervene, has come down on CFTO News, after it aired what was essentially a commercial for one of Bell's Crave shows, without indicating the company owned the streaming service. 
 
It happened last July, when CTV News at 6 put up a promo for "Canada's Drag Race" without disclosing that CTV and Crave are owned by the same company, namely Bell. A viewer protested the lack of disclosure, noting they felt CTV had a duty to point out the commercial tie-in.
 
The CBSC agreed on at least one point. 
 
"The station failed to disclose the relationship between CFTO-DT and Crave, more specifically, that both services are ultimately owned by Bell Media. This relationship could easily have been disclosed sometime during the news report...Without it, the broadcast constitutes a breach. In today’s environment, maintaining the integrity of the news is essential."
 
As a result, you'll be seeing this statement, once in primetime and another on a separate day on CTV News At 6:
 
"The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has found that CTV Toronto breached the Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada’s Code of Journalistic Ethics in the broadcast of CTV News at on July 4, 2020. In a report about a Crave program, CTV introduced the news report in a manner that could be seen as advertising or sponsoring of a program offered on an affiliated online service and it failed to mention that Crave and CTV are both owned by Bell Media. This constitutes a breach of Articles 2.2 and 4 of the code."
 
I'm no fan of Bell, as many here know, and it looks like they made a mistake here. But I've found over the years that they're pretty good at tagging stories like this with a viewer reminder that CTV & Crave are both owned by Bell Media. Why they missed it in this case is unclear.  
 
CBSC Decision