Some TV viewers who tuned in for CHCH's morning news broadcast got more than they bargained for on Friday.

The Hamilton-based broadcaster has issued an apology after its News Now show was briefly overrun by a graphic sex scene. But the station, which is owned by Toronto-based media group Channel Zero, stressed that the error was not its own.

"We have to take this time and apologize to some of our cable viewers for some inappropriate content that aired this morning," the station said on its website.  It also released a video statement with an explanation from the station's new director.

The station blamed the mixup on a switching error at one of the cable companies that picks up its signal.

CHCH's vice-president of news Mike Katrycz said he believes the station ultimately aired around a minute of "hardcore pornography."

"But as I say, it seemed like an eternity," he said in a telephone interview Friday.

Katrycz said he noticed the issue right away and frantically called the network's master control to try to fix it. But since the problem originated elsewhere, they weren't able to immediately pull the material off the air.

"It was out of our hands," he said.  

He wasn't sure if viewers had been calling in droves to complain, but he "wouldn't be a bit surprised."

"We're very disturbed," he said, adding that the station was sorry, even if the issue wasn't its fault.

"That still doesn't mitigate the impact on our viewers, those who saw it, and for that we apologize."

Some of those viewers seemed to take the blunder in stride, taking to Twitter to poke fun at the mistake using the hashtag ".CHPorningLive."

"Just eating some pancakes this morning watching .CHCH ... I no longer like pancakes or the news," wrote Twitter user (at)derek1913.

Others weren't quite so amused.

One woman, who said she was angry, tweeted that it was lucky no small children were in the room when the pornography came on.