“Ooooh, Canada!” : adult cable channels not Canadian enough

In a strange if not laughable ruling, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced Mar. 6 that certain Canadian porn channels are not Canadian enough.

AOV, an adult movie company based out of Toronto, is failing to meet specific Canadian content requirements in much of its speciality programming, the CRTC stated.  The channels in question are AOV’s XXX Action Clips and Maleflixxx.

The adult movie channels are allegedly not implementing enough closed captioning in their content, either.

Content guidelines apply to porn

Many Canadians are probably wondering what constitutes genuinely “Canadian” content, especially in the case of adult programming.  The CRTC has set out guidelines to assist in this important determination process.

It’s not as simple as including stereotypically Canadian elements in pornographic productions.  Canadian content refers to all aspects of pre and post-production.

Directors, actors and actresses, as well as the technical and film crew being Canadian could count towards CanCon requirements.  The same goes for the set and filming locations, too.

AOV’s channels are speciality programs, meaning that viewers have to pay for a subscription in order to access the content.  Because the channels are devoted to adult entertainment, porn plays on a 24-hour basis .  In order to meet the CRTC’s 35 per cent minimum requirement, 8.5 hours of programming must be solely Canadian content.

In January however, the CRTC came under fire from the Canadian public about the Canadian content requirements.  The commission is currently undertaking a project to gauge public opinion on television services, calling it Let’s Talk TV: A conversation with Canadians.  Feedback on future of Canadian television wasn’t exactly positive.

One of the most frequent complaints the CRTC received revolved around the inclusion of mandatory Canadian content.  Many people seem to think that there is no longer a need for these quotas, and that forcing such obligatory content on broadcasters and viewers alike is an ineffective strategy.

Porn goes mobile

Then there is the question of Canadian porn-viewing habits.

According to data compiled by Montreal-based PornHub, the world’s largest porn site, the way Canadians are accessing and consuming pornography is changing rapidly.  From 2012 to 2013, desktop traffic decreased from 66 per cent to 51 per cent, whereas mobile traffic increased from 30 per cent to 40 per cent  Tablet traffic also rose by five per cent.

The porn site says it receives upwards of 35 million daily visits to its pages, indicating that many Canadians get their porn from the free browsing service.

Such statistics call into question the relevance of the CRTC’s recent ruling.  How many Canadians actually get their porn from satellite pay-per-view programming these days? And how does the CRTC propose to regulate internet content?

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