For failing to broadcast sufficient levels of Canadian-made pornography â€” and failing to close-caption said pornography properly â€” a trio of Toronto-based erotica channels has earned a reprimand from the Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission.
Wednesday, the CRTC issued a broadcast notice saying AOV Adult Movie Channel, XXX Action Clips and the gay-oriented Maleflixxx were all failing to reach the required 35% threshold for Canadian content.
Based on a 24-hour broadcast schedule, that translates to about 8.5 hours of Canadian erotica a day.
The notice was issued as a result of Channel Zeroâ€™s efforts to renew licences for all three erotica channels. The regulator will review the â€œinstances of apparent non-complianceâ€ at an April 28 hearing in Gatineau, Que.
The channelsâ€™ parent company, Toronto-based Channel Zero, did not respond to
In previous filings to the CRTC, however, the company has claimed its deficit of Canadian erotica was simply a clerical error.
In a 2012 note to regulators, Jennifer Chen, a Channel Zero vice-president, wrote, â€œThe non-compliance is a result of an error, on our part.â€
Admittedly, Channel Zero had only been missing the CanCon threshold by minutes of erotica a day.
â€œThe programming strategy has been adjusted accordingly in light of this information,â€ wrote Ms. Chen.
CRTC regulators also reprimanded Channel Zero for failing to provide sufficient close-captioning.
In 2012, Channel Zero replied, â€œWe appreciate and respect the importance of providing closed captioning for our viewers, as a means of making our programming accessible to the hearing impaired.â€
Under standard CRTC policy, Canadian channels must also cater to the blind by offering â€œAudio Description,â€ a service in which narrators describe â€œgraphics that appear on the screen.â€
When previously pressed on this point by regulators, Channel Zero replied, â€œWe currently do not air any programming that would require Audio Description.â€
While specialty cable channels often struggle to round up enough CanCon to meet CRTC requirements, Canada is home to a fairly robust pornography industry.
Porn production is flourishing in Quebec, with Montreal headquarters to such industry heavyweight as Brazzers and Mile High Media. Industry boosters claim the cityâ€™s production of X-rated videos is rivaled only by Los Angeles and Amsterdam.
â€œWe have the big game companies here. We have a lot of well-known computer-graphics generators here. It just stands to reason that some of that would derive into the adult expansions,â€ Michael Plant, a Quebec City-based adult-entertainment entrepreneur, told The Canadian Press in 2008.
That same year, the quantity of Canadian porn was apparently enough for the CRTC to approve Northern Peaks, an Edmonton-based digital cable channel that planned to pack 50% of its schedule with Canadian pornography.
In 2007, the CRTC also cleared the way for Vanessa, a Montreal-based channel that continues to bill itself as â€œthe only 100% Canadian adult entertainment channel.â€
According to the AOV Adult Movie channelâ€™s most recent schedule, the Canadian content appears to be reserved exclusively for hour-long segments known as â€œCanadian Quickies,â€ currently broadcast nine times daily.
Maleflixxx appears to source much of its Canadian offerings from a single studio, known as International Amateur Adult Video (IAAV). On Friday at 3 a.m., for instance, it is airing IAAVâ€™s
AOV XXX Action Clips, the Channel Zero erotica channel specializing in â€œ5 to 20 minutes clips,â€ has actually manage to exceed the 35% CanCon threshold in years past â€” although it still attracted the regulatorâ€™s ire for failing to offer enough Canadian erotica during evening hours.