Click here to see -- Frequently Asked Research Questions


1. What is TVB?
2. Is TVB a television regulator?
3. Can anyone access TVB's services?
4. Does it cost anything to access TVB services?
5. Does TV advertising work?
6. Should I advertise in a recession?
7. Is TV surviving?
8. What is the digital transition and is Canada ready?
9. What is the current level of PVR penetration in Canada?
10. How much time do Canadians spend watching TV?
11. What is HDTV?
12. How many spots were approved in 2010?
13. What percentage of TV Commercials are (high definition) spots?
14. What length of commercial should I use?
15. Is the 30-second commercial still the most popular length for commercials?

16. Will commercials airing on U.S. stations be seen by a Canadian audience?

What is TVB?
The Television Bureau of Canada is a not-for-profit association working on behalf of Canadian Television Broadcasters who are TVB members. We are a resource centre for our members as well as advertising agencies and advertisers, providing statistics and research proving television's power as an advertising medium. As part of the Resource Centre, we house a creative library consisting of more than 50 thousand television commercials accessible to the public. Through our Telecaster division, we also provide commercial clearance services for commercials destined to be aired on our members stations.

Is TVB a television regulator?

No.  TVB is a resource centre and commercial clearance body.  While we clear commercials for our members stations, this is part of the self-regulation process which broadcasters do to ensure that the commercials they air on behalf of advertisers meet a certain set of minimum guidelines.  TVB has no role in regulating broadcasters, broadcast distributors, or the programming which they air.

Can anyone access TVB's services?
The Canadian Television Broadcasters who are our members provide open access to the TVB Resource Centre and Telecaster Services to all Advertisers, Agencies, and the public, and all television broadcasters who are members. With very few exceptions, the content on our web site is available to anyone. Some content is for our members only, and is therefore password protected. If a non-member wishes access to password protected content, they must seek the content from one of our member stations.

Does it cost anything to access TVB services?
Most of what we do is funded by the fees paid by our member stations. There is a minimal fee to access the creative library, and to have infomericals cleared. Non-member television stations must pay for all clearances. There are also fees to enter our commercial awards competitions.

Does TV advertising work?
Television enjoys a long and proven history in terms of message delivery and communication efficacy. It has proven time and time again that TV can be relied upon to achieve an advertisers communication objective and contribute to the achievement of associated business, marketing and sales goals. For more information on the Canadian TV landscape, click here, or take a look at our Case Studies section for definitive proof that TV delivers.

Should I advertise in a recession?
Of course! It's the perfect time to pick up market share when your competitors are reducing their profile. Big marketers will threaten, but many can ill afford to be completely off television. 

"This is not the time to cut advertising. It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times. Uncertain consumers need the reassurance of known brands--and more consumers at home watching television can deliver higher than expected audiences at lower cost-per-thousand impressions."

John Quelch
Senior Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School   More...  

Is TV surviving?
Yep. TV is still the great aggregator of audiences. As long as people desire interesting storytelling in a compelling video format, the medium will endure. The internet is infinitely fragmented and while its use is widespread, users gravitate toward websites catering to specific interests at very fine granular levels.

"The gospel of media has always been that no new medium has ever replaced an existing one. Radio adapted to the introduction of television just as print adapted to the development of radio. Broadcast networks adjusted when cable came along. The internet, media traditionalists have continued to assert, might cause upheaval and change for established media, but it certainly could not result in the extinction of those media."

Jack Myers
Media Futurist, Innovation Consultant, Jack Myers Media Services LLC

What is the digital transition and is Canada ready?
Canada is set to make the switch to digital on August 31, 2011. An estimated 3 million analog TV sets in Canada are not compatible with digital signals and not connected to cable or satellite. There are more than 750 over-the-air analog TV transmitters in our country (CAB Update, 08/08/2008).

What is the current level of PVR penetration in Canada?
47% (BBM Canada, 2013)

How much time do Canadians spend watching TV?
It depends on the demographic group. For the 2010/2011 broadcast year-to-date, Canadians aged 2+ spent an average of 29.0 hours per week watching television on a per capita basis.

What is HDTV?
High-definition television (HDTV) is a format of digital television and has the highest resolution and picture quality.  It is displayed in one of three resolution formats: 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.  Interlaced (i) display scans every other line per frame, while progressive (p) display scans all horizontal lines per frame, resulting in a greater number of pixels, and thus a better picture quality. 

How many spots were approved in Fiscal 2010 (Sept 01, 2009 to Aug 31, 2013)?
There were 60,687 spots approved.

What percentage of TV commercials are HD (high definition) spots?
58% in 2013.

What length of commercial should I use?
It really comes down to your campaign's objectives. Shorter spots can still convey effective brand messages and are a good way to efficiently extend your reach. Longer spots are better suited for more complex brand messages and provide more time to tell a story and build persuasion. They enjoy higher recall but their cost is naturally higher. Thirty-second spots are the happy middle ground. They allow enough time to tell a brand story and are less expensive than ads 60-seconds and longer in length than their 15-second counterparts. They are great for brand-building and humorous campaigns and are recalled at 75%-80% of their 60-second counterparts.  More...

Is the 30-second commercial still the most popular length for commercials?
Yes, the 30-second spot placed first among all the lengths with a total of 30,000 spots approved in Fiscal 2013. The 15-second spot placed second with a total of 18,000 spots approved in 2013.

Will commercials airing on U.S. stations be seen by a Canadian audience?
The short answer: No

The fact that Canadian audiences do enjoy the majority of popular U.S. shows is one thing, but the way audiences receive the signal is another. In Canada, U.S. programs that air on American stations have their signal temporarily substituted by a distributor with a Canadian one when a domestic station is airing that program at the same time, so that Canadian audiences see the Canadian commercials.

Canadian audiences watch the vast majority of their programming on our own stations and networks. Yes, we do watch the big American networks, but these stations only attract a small fraction of the total audience. For example, CBS affiliated stations garnered just 2.1% of the total hours viewed by Canadians in the fall of 2010, according to BBM Canada. ABC, NBC, and Fox earned even less.

More on Signal Substitution.

If you have any other questions, please send an e-mail to tvb@tvb.ca.


Originally Posted: 11/24/2009 11:38:41 AM
Last Updated: 4/27/2015 12:30:18 PM