In 1962, the Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG), an arm of the Canadian federal government responsible for broadcasting, made the unprecedented move to force the national public broadcaster to televise the Grey Cup, the championship game of Canadian football, ostensibly because it was in the national interest. However, research reveals that this decision was not necessarily made because it was in the national interest, but more so to assist the new struggling private television network, CTV. The important content, allegedly linked to cultural citizenship, was not the national championship, but the television commercials. This paper explores why the BBG intervened and how the dispute was settled.
John Valentine is with MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.