Canada’s CRTC introduces reality TV category for log books

Canada's TV watchdog looks to distinguish reality TV shows such as Top Chef Canada (pictured) from point-of-view documentaries.
July 5, 2011

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has faced reality.

The broadcast regulator has added a new category, “reality television,” for broadcasters to enter on their programming log books.

The aim is to distinguish reality fare such as Jersey Shore and Big Brother from point-of-view documentaries.

“The commission noted that reality television programming can have documentary-like elements and that this type of programming could therefore be confused with what the commission currently defines as Category 2(b) long-form documentary,” the CRTC said in a June 30 decision.

The regulator also noted that reality television does not require the regulatory support long-form documentaries do as Canadian broadcasters increasingly bypass point-of-view documentaries for programming such as Battle of the Blades and Top Chef Canada (pictured) to boost ratings and ad revenue.

“Consequently, including reality television in the same category as long-form documentaries would be inconsistent with the objective of supporting programs of national interest,” the CRTC argued.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.