Television content rating systems
Television content rating systems give viewers an idea of the suitability of a television program for children or adults. Many countries have their own television rating system and each country's rating process may differ due to local priorities. Programs are rated by either the organization that manages the system, the broadcaster or by the content producers themselves.
A rating is usually set for each individual episode of a television series. The rating can change per episode, network, rerun and per country. As such it is impossible to state what kind of rating a program has, without stating when and where this rating applied.
In Argentina, television ratings are the same as those used by the local film bureau. Nevertheless, the rating is not of compulsory use on TV. The ratings are as follows:
- ATP (Apto para todo público): This program is for all audiences. The shows with this classification can contain mild violence, language and mature situations.
- Apto para mayores de 13 años (SAM 13): This program is for ages 13 and up. Can contain moderate violence, mild sexual and mature situations.
- Apto para mayores de 15 años (SAM 15): This program is for ages 15 and up. Can contain stronger violence, sex and coarse language.
- Apto para mayores de 18 años (SAM 18): This program is exclusively for adults. Contains strong violence, sex and coarse language.
Armenia's rating system was introduced in 2007. The armenian ratings are
- 3: For ages 3 and up.
- 6: For ages 6 and up.
- GA: General Audiences.
- PA: Parental accompination for some material.
- T: Teens ages 12 and up.
- OT: Older teens ages 15 and up
- A: Adults ages 18 and up.
- OA: Older adults ages 21 and up.
The following classification codes apply:
These time zones are further governed by the Children's Television Standards 2005, over and above the commercial Code of Practice. Both are similar to the G and PG classifications respectively in terms of allowable content, but are specifically targeted at children, whereas G specifies programming content that is suitable for all audiences, but may not necessarily be of interest to children.
- P-rated Pink: programming content is intended for pre-schoolers Under 0-5. Commercial stations must show at least 30 minutes of P-rated content each weekdays and weekends at all times . No advertisements may be shown during P-rated programs.
- C-rated Orange: programming content is intended for children under 6–7. Commercial stations must show at least 30 minutes of C-rated content each weekday between 7 am and 8 am or between 4 pm and 8:30 pm. A further 2.5 hours a week must also be shown either within these time bands or between 7 am and 8:30 pm on weekends and school holidays, for a total of five hours a week (averaged as 260 hours over the course of a year). C-rated content is subject to certain restrictions and limitations on advertising (typically five minutes maximum per 30-minute period or seven minutes including promotions and community announcements).
With the exception of the AV15+ rating, which is only used by commercial TV networks, the ratings are intended to be equivalent to the Australian Classification Board classifications of the same name. They're usually presented with the same shape and sometimes colour as their ACB counterparts.
- Yellow: Parental guidance is recommended for young viewers. PG content may air at any time on digital-only channels, otherwise, it may only be broadcast between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm and between 7:00 pm and 6:00 am on weekdays, and between 10:00 am and 6:00 am on weekends.
- Blue: Recommended for mature audiences. M content may only be broadcast between 8:30 pm and 5:00 am on any day, and additionally between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm on school days.
- Red: Not suitable for people under 15. MA15+ content may only be broadcast between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am on any day. Consumer advice is mandatory.
- Purple: Not suitable for people under 15. This is similar to the A15+ rating, however The AV stands for added violence. In all other respects, this program is still allowed to exceed any MA15+ content.AV15+ content may only be broadcast between 9:30 pm and 5:00 am on any day (though there has been one exception—Saving Private Ryan—which aired at 8:30 pm with an additional warning). Consumer advice is mandatory.
- R18+ Black: Not for kids under 18, this is limited to Adult Paperview -VC 196 and 197
Several programmes that air before the PG timeslot of 7.00pm do still contain PG content such as The Simpsons and Neighbours, although nothing is edited to fit a G rating. Shows such as Home and Away, which is always rated PG now did more or less always feature the same amount of content when it was G rated. On DVD, however, shows do receive the actual ratings that they are intended to have. Years ago when shows were rated G would receive a PG, possible an M rating on DVD, older and current episodes of Home and Away would be PG, most likely M if released on DVD. Shows such as Packed to the Rafters is rated PG on TV and M on DVD. Children's programmes which are G rated mostly always remain the same rating on DVD.
The two government-owned TV networks, ABC and SBS, are not bound by the same regulations as their commercial counterparts, and are instead each bound by their own Codes of Practice. The guidelines provided by these Codes are similar but not identical to the Codes of Practice for commercial stations. For example, SBS refers to the rating MAV15+ instead of AV15+, while ABC does not use the AV/MAV rating at all; instead programs rated MA15+ must not start before 9:30 pm, instead of 9:00 pm. While the ABC recognizes the G rating, its code of practice does not require that it display its classification symbol on-air in respect to G-rated programming.
Pay television networks also have a different system to the free-to-air networks. In general, all content on pay TV must still be given one of the above ratings; however, there are not usually restrictions on the time of day any particular programming can be broadcast. There is an R18+ rating for pay TV, but its use is strictly limited to special interest channels. FOXTEL, a pay TV company, has a parental lock-out system which can be programmed by parents to stop children from seeing certain programs. In 2009, the system malfunctioned, allowing children access to violent TV shows and films. The restrictions on R18+ rated programming have been increased since then, and those programs can now only be shown on the two adult channels.
Consumer advice is compulsory for all MA15+ and AV15+ programs, and one-off programs and very short series classified M or higher (such as feature films, miniseries and documentaries). A classification disclaimer may be displayed for PG material if the broadcaster believes the material is of an intensity that parents and/or young children may not expect.
Consumer advice takes the form of a full-screen written and verbal announcement at the start of the program announcing the classification as well as listing the type and strength of any mature content. Examples include "frequent coarse language", "a sex scene", "strong violence", "adult themes" and so on. In addition, where a program carries consumer advice, appropriate abbreviations are displayed along with the classification symbol after each commercial break. They also usually appear in programming guides, usually in lower case to distinguish from primary classifications. In general, these abbreviations are as follows:
- A for adult themes and/or dangerous stunts—USED IN: PG, M, MA, AV/MAV, R and X
- V for violence—USED IN: PG, M, MA, AV/MAV, and R
- L for coarse language—USED IN: PG, M, MA, AV/MAV and R
- S for sexual references and/or sex scenes—USED IN: PG, M, MA, AV/MAV R and X
- H for horror or supernatural themes—USED IN: M, MA, AV/MAV and R
- D for drug references and/or drug use—USED IN: PG, M, MA, AV/MAV, R and X
- N for nudity—USED IN: PG (If Brief) M, MA, and R
- SV for Sexual Violence—USED IN: MA, AV/MAV, R and X
- AL for aggressive language—USED IN: R only
- E for education—USED IN: P only
Sometimes, more specific consumer advice is issued, such as:
- SN for supernatural themes—USED IN: C and G
- M for medical procedures—USED IN: C, PG, M, MA, AV/MAV, and R
- W for war themes or footage—USED IN: M, MA, AV/MAV and R
- B for colourful behaviour[clarification needed]—USED IN: M, MA, AV/MAV, R and X
- P for porn[clarification needed]—USED IN: X only
In other cases, a network may include more specific advice at the start of a program, but then substitute one of the more widespread categories when using the abbreviated form. Others may not use the above examples at all and simply list the content as violence, adult themes, etc.
- H: Children
- K: Recommended for Kids (with fantasy violence)
- C: All ages may watch
- E: Parental Guidance
- PU: Recommended for teenagers
- S: People under 14 cannot watch the film.
- MA: Mature Audiences 16+
- VX: Only for Adults 18+
The latest version of the Brazilian Informative Classification system was made official on television in mid-2007, although it was already used on motion pictures, video games, and some television networks since 2006. Since then, the television networks themselves rate the shows, while the DJCTQ, the Department of Justice, Classification, Titles and Qualification (Departamento de Justiça, Classificação, Títulos e Qualificação in Portuguese), also known as Dejus, acts as a judge, to guarantee that the rating is appropriate for that specific show.
The Brazilian system:
- Especialmente Recomendado para Crianças e Adolescentes (Especially Recommended for Children and Adolescents).
- L Livre para Todos os Públicos (All Audiences).
- 10 Não Recomendado para Menores de 10 Anos (Not Recommended for Viewers Under 10 Years of Age). Programs with this category contain mild sexual and coarse language, obscenities, threat, mild physical or verbal aggression, drug allusions.
- 12 Não Recomendado para Menores de 12 Anos (Not Recommended for Viewers Under 12 Years of Age). Programs with this category contain Nudity, sexual language, obscenities, violence, sexuality, exposure of people in embarrassing or degrading situations, detailed description of a crime and aggressive acts, physical or verbal aggression (murder or mistreatment of animals, for example), exposure of a corpse, legal or illegal drug use.
- 14 Não Recomendado para Menores de 14 Anos (Not Recommended for Viewers Under 14 Years of Age). Programs with this category contain nudity, intimate petting, heavy sexual and coarse language, violence (physical or verbal aggression, murder, torture and suicide), illegal drug use, frequent and explicit legal drug use.
- 16 Não Recomendado para Menores de 16 Anos (Not Recommended for Viewers Under 16 Years of Age). Programs with this category contain sexual intercourse, nudity and heavy petting, graphic violence (murder and heavy physical aggression, torture, rape, mutilation, sexual abuse), explicit illegal drug use, induction to drug use.
- 18 Não Recomendado para Menores de 18 Anos (Not Recommended for Viewers Under 18 Years of Age). Programs with this category contain explicit sex, pornography, extreme violence (murder, torture, rape, mutilation, graphic exposure of a corpse), frequent and explicit illegal drug use and incest. It is also used to rate pornographic films and shows.
People under the minimum age indicated by the rating can watch the TV show accompanied by their parents, except for pornographic shows. No "parental guidance" ratings are used.
On broadcast networks, where the system is mandatory, the ratings are also translated in LIBRAS—Língua Brasileira de Sinais (Brazilian Sign Language)—and may also carry content descriptors. The icons must be shown at the start of each block of the show, and their respective promos. Each network uses the system with slight differences:
- Globo and MTV show the ratings before each show, and use content descriptors only for 16- and 18-rated shows.
- SBT shows the ratings at the start of each show, does not use sign language translation for L-rated programming, and uses content descriptors only for 16- and 18-rated shows.
- Record, its sister network Record News, Band and its sister network Rede 21 show the ratings before each show, and do not use content descriptors.
- RedeTV! shows the ratings at the start of each show, and uses content descriptors for all programming, including L-rated programs, which do not normally use such descriptors.
The system also regulates when certain programming may air on broadcast television:
- ER-, L- and 10-rated programming can air at any time
- 12-rated programming may air only between 8 pm and 6 am
- 14-rated programming may air only between 9 pm and 6 am
- 16-rated programming may air only between 10 pm and 6 am
- 18-rated programming may air only between 11 pm and 6 am
On cable networks, the system is voluntary, and also used differently for each network:
- Warner Channel, the first cable channel to use the system, Fox and sister networks FX, Fox Life and National Geographic Channel, show the ratings, with content descriptors, at the start, and the icons halfway through each show.
- History shows the ratings only at the start of each show.
- Disney-owned Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney Channel and Disney XD, and Viacom-owned Nickelodeon and VH1 show the ratings at the start of each show, and the icons at the start of each block (though Nickelodeon shows the complete ratings at the start of each block).
- Sony-owned Sony Entertainment Television, AXN and Animax show the ratings, with content descriptors, before each show, and around halfway through that show.
- Discovery networks, such as the Discovery Channel, People+Arts, Discovery Kids and Animal Planet, carry larger icons at the start of each show, and smaller icons at the start of each block, similar to the US cable industry standards.
Programming on cable networks can air at any time, regardless of its rating.
The Canadian TV Classification System was created in late 1997 for English-language programmers to use in conjunction with the V-chip. The upper-right corner of the Canadian age rating symbols are shaped like the corner of a maple leaf, like the national flag. The rating is intended to be shown once an hour lasting 15 seconds, although in the case of longer programs that do not start on the hour, some broadcasters show the rating at the start and at the top of each subsequent clock hour, while others show the rating at the start and again precisely one hour later. However, there are some networks like Global that only display the television rating at the beginning of the show.
The ratings are displayed in upper-left corner and the size should be a minimum of 52 scan lines tall.
Additionally, should a program contain content potentially unsuitable for some viewers, such as violence, coarse language, or nudity, members of the self-regulating Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (which does not include the CBC) are required to air a disclaimer at the beginning of the program and at the end of each commercial break, advising viewer discretion (such disclaimers are only required for the first hour if airing after 9:00 pm). This disclaimer is technically required even if the final commercial break comes immediately before the closing credits, and some (but not all) channels in fact observe this.
Notably, the television rating given may depend on the level of cable and satellite, or if the program is broadcast over-the-air. Also, television ratings are generally considered more restricted than movie ratings.
- Exempt: Shows which are exempt from ratings (such as news and sports programming) will not display an on-screen rating at all.
- C: Programming suitable for children ages of two to seven years. No profanity or sexual content of any level allowed. Contains little to no violence.
- C8: Suitable for children ages eight and older. Low level violence and fantasy horror is allowed. No foul language is allowed, but occasional "socially offensive and discriminatory" language is allowed if in the context of the story. No sexual content of any level allowed.
- G: Suitable for general audiences. Similar to the Canadian/American film rating of the same name; programming suitable for the entire family with mild violence, and mild profanity and/or bleeped language. No sexual content of any level allowed.
- PG: Parental guidance. Again, similar to the movie rating of the same name. Moderate violence and moderate profanity is allowed, as is brief nudity and sexual references if important to the context of the story.
- 14+: Programming unsuitable for viewers aged younger than 14 years. May contain strong violence and strong profanity, and depictions of sexual activity as long as they are within the context of a story.
- 18+: Programming intended for viewers ages 18 and older. May contain explicit violence and sexual activity. Programming with this rating cannot air before the watershed (9:00 PM).
French-language broadcasters use the Quebec film ratings system.
- G (General) appropriate for all ages with little or no violence and little to no sexual content.
- 8+ appropriate for children eight and up which may contain little violence, some foul language and/or little to no sexual content.
- 13+ appropriate for children 13 and up with moderate violence, language, and some sexual situations. Persons under 13 should be accompanied by an adult.
- 16+ appropriate for children 16 and up with strong violence, strong language, and strong sexual content.
- 18+ only to be viewed by adults and contains extreme violence and graphic sexual content/pornography.
An E (no rating will appear on screen) is given to exempt programming, in the same classes used for English Canadian programming above.
In 1993, the National Association of Television (Asociación Nacional de Televisión—ANATEL), created this system as a way of auto regulate and label television programming, as follows:
- I : Infantil (for children): Shows suitable for all ages.
- I7 : Infantil para mayores de 7 años: Shows for ages seven or older
- I12 : Infantil para mayores de 12 años: Shows for ages 12 or older
- F : Familiar (Family): Shows suitable for all ages, regardless of specific content.
- R : Responsabilidad compartida (Shared responsibility): Children accompanied by an adult.
- A : Adulto (Adult): For adult audiences only (ages 18 or older). Shows that contain explicit language, sex scenes, explicit situations (used after 10pm local time).
Since 1997 Colombian television channels must show at the beginning of every program in the so-called family and adult fringes a notice telling the audience, via audio and video, the minimum age required to watch the program, if it contains sexual or violent content, and if parental company is needed. In order to fulfill this requirement, the channels create and broadcast a bumper. The channels must also broadcast an "institutional message" every day at 21:00, inviting children 12 years-old or less to "not to stay exposed to contents which have no essentially child[-oriented] nature." A message (most networks show a scrolling text) must be broadcast at 22:10 Mondays to Fridays (22:30 Saturdays and Sundays) explaining the viewers that the adult fringe has started.
The fringes (franjas), as defined by the National Television Commission, are as follows:
- Para todas las audiencias (Content suitable for all audiences): everyday, 07:00–21:30
- Infantil (Children): Monday to Friday 16:00–17:00; Saturdays and Sundays 08:00–10:00
- Familiar (Family): Monday to Friday 07:00–16:00 and 17:00–22:10; Saturdays and Sundays 07:00–08:00; 10:00–22:30
- Adultos (adult audiences): the time slots not covered by the Infantil and Familiar fringes.
In Denmark, there are no regulations on what can be shown on Danish television.
Green Logo: Allowed for everyone at every age and can be showed on all channels at all times.
Yellow Logo: Allowed for children accompanied by an adult and may only be broadcast after 6 pm. Short erotic scenes in movies, for example, belong in this category.
Red Logo: Used for more hardcore sexual content and for extreme horror movies. Hardcore pornography is allowed from 00:00/12:00 am until 05:00/5:00 am.
Blue Logo: Extremely suggestive content and strictly for adults only.
Television ratings were introduced in Finland in 2004. The initial ratings system for television programs shown on Finnish television channels consisted of ratings K11, K15, and K18. In 2007, K13 was added due change of applicable law. The current ratings are:
- K11 (not allowed air before 17:00/05:00 pm in weekdays)
- K13 (not allowed air before 19:00/07:00 pm)
- K15 (not allowed air before 21:00/09:00 pm)
- K18 (not allowed air before 23:00/11:00 pm)
If a program is classified as K15 or K18, a notification must be shown before transmission. Example: the following program is rated K15 or K18; again if nothing appears it is usually G.
- Déconseillé aux moins de 10 ans (Not recommended for children under 10): This image is shown at the beginning of the program and after every break. It is translucent. It disappears after a few moments, not allowed in children's television series.
- Déconseillé aux moins de 12 ans (Not recommended for children under 12): This image is shown at the beginning of the program and after every break. It is translucent. The round "-12" logo is shown for the whole duration of the show, not allowed air before 22.00/10.00 pm (Some channels and programs are subject to exception).
- Déconseillé aux moins de 16 ans (Not recommended for children under 16): This image is shown at the beginning of the program and after every break. It is translucent. The round "-16" logo is shown for the whole duration of the show, not allowed air before 22.30/10.30 pm (Some channels and programs are subject to exception).
- Déconseillé aux moins de 18 ans (Not recommended for persons under 18): This image is shown at the beginning of the program and after every break. It is translucent. The round "-18" logo is shown for the whole duration of the show, allowed between midnight and 5.30 am and only in some channels.
Please note: if nothing appears it is most likely G (General).
Greece did not have television rating system before 2000. Greece's television rating system are divided to five white shapes in five different colored background:
- White rhombus in green background: Suitable for all ages
- White circle in blue background: Suitable for children, but parental consent is less important for 10+ or older
- White triangle in orange background: Suitable for children only if accompanied by parents. Sutible for 12 years or older. (only allowed between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.)
- White square in purple background: Unsuitable for viewers under the age of 15. (only allowed between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.)
- White X in red background: Unsuitable for persons under 18—Restricted for Kids (allowed only between midnight and 6:00 a.m., foul language before midnight is punishable by fine, except when used in the context of a suitably labelled movie film, theatrical play, etc.)
The color-coded ratings are mandatorily displayed and verbally announced at the beginning of each broadcast. These provisions are enforced by the National Radio and Television Council (ESR), an independent authority, the executive members of which are appointed by the leaders of all parliamentary parties, preferably by unanimous consent and in extremis by an 80% supermajority.
The Hong Kong television rating system is since by generic code of television programs standard of the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap.562) on December 11, 1995. The current ratings are:
- G General
- PG (Parental Guidance Recommended): Programs are unsuitable for children; parental guidance is recommended for children to watch.
- M (Mature): Programs are recommended only for viewers above the age of 18; only allowed to be shown between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Programs that are classified as either PG (Parental Guidance Recommended) or M (Mature) should not be broadcast between 4:00 pm and 8:30 pm every day, as this broadcast time is only suitable for Family Viewing Hour programs.
The Hungarian television rating system has changed frequently during the last few years. The ratings of the shows broadcasted often caused interferences because the radio and television authorities have stricter guidelines about age appropriate rating categories for programs. If a show is not marked with the television authority's choice of rating symbol, the airing channel often has to pay a large penalty to the authorities.
Before the year 2002 the Hungarian television rating system was pretty simple. Channels could range their programs into three categories:
- Unrated: these programs could be viewed by anyone without any counter proposal.
- Not recommended for children under the age of 14—Films displaying light violence or with explicit dialogues were ranked into this category. The symbol of the age limit was a blue triangle.
- Not recommended for children under the age of 18—Films displaying violence or sexual content were ranked into this one. The symbol of the category was a filled red circle.
Rating programs and displaying on-screen symbols was not strictly compulsory for the channels; eventually the television authority found this system inappropriate.
In 2002 a new rating system was created. Ranking programs and displaying the rating symbols became compulsory on every Hungarian television channel. The new rating system caused problems because the channels were required to display the ranking symbols during the entire duration of their programs. The symbols were distracting, and viewers feared that their constant presence could damage the television screen. Because of the complaints, the television authority allowed channels to choose to show the rating symbols on the left or on the right side of the screen. Later, channels were also allowed to increase the transparency of the symbols.
In the current system there are four rating categories.
- Unrated: the program can be viewed by any age.
- 12: parental guidance is recommended for children below the age of 12. Mostly shows with light sexual content or explicit language use are marked with this. Most films without serious violence or sexual content fit into this category also. A yellow circle with "12" written inside is used for this rating.
- 16: the program is not recommended for children below the age of 16. Films displaying violence and obvious sexual content are marked with an orange (thicker yellow) circle with "16" written inside.
- 18: the program is recommended only for viewers above the age of 18 (age of becoming adult according to Hungarian laws). Films displaying particular violence and unvarnished sexual content are marked with a red circle with "18" written inside, the red circle was also used until 2002, but it was filled.
It should be noted, that these ratings also apply to films shown in cinemas, however unlike in other countries a viewer cannot be denied access from entering a screening if they are not the age of the rating. Law concerning TV ratings (in Hungarian)
In Iceland, the channel's logo in the top-right corner is colored either yellow (12) or red (16). Nothing appearing is G but all of a sudden it does not. all unrestricted (EC, Y8 and 10) all mean children, kids and all ages may watch, here some restricted ones (PG, R, AO) all mean unstitable for children may contain violence, sex and language.
In Ireland, RTÉ displays a banner in the top right-hand corner (previously on the left-hand corner) of the screen during the opening screen of a program. The banner will display either -
- GA (General Audience/Lucht Féachana Ginearálta): Suitable for all ages.
- Ch (Children/Páistí): Suitable for children aged 5 to 10. May contain comedic violence or action fantasy violence.
- YA (Young Adult/Ógra): Suitable for adolescent audiences. May contain issues that would appeal to or are of a major concern for teenagers.
- PS (Parental Supervision/Treoir Tuismitheora): Suitable for more mature viewers. Stronger than the YA rating in terms of content (adult themes, moderate violence, the occasional instance of coarse language, and scenes that may be too frightening or disturbing for younger viewers are allowed).
- MA (Mature Audience Only/Lucht Féachana Lánfhásta Amháin): The highest content rating on Irish TV. Strong violence, strong sexual situations, heavy profane language, and strong thematic elements are allowed.
In Israel, since April 2003 the shows on the broadcast channels (Channel 2 and Channel 10) are showing the age limit to every show. Later the rating was available at all of the channels, such as cable channels and more. Originally the limit tags came in three colors—Yellow, Orange and Red—but in cable or satellite it is designed differently.
- 8 (Yellow): The program is suitable for all ages. Usually used for children dramas and the rest of the programs that do not have inappropriate content (as listed below) or in special cases such as "Ad Hahtona" ('Til the Wedding) for non-sexual nudity.
- 14 (Orange): The program is suitable for 14 years old and above, may contain strong language, violence, drug use and sometime nudity and nearly sexual content (on cable or satellite only).
- 18 (Red, never seen on broadcast channel): The program contains sexual nudity or strong violence and usually strong language. So far, only HOT produced these type of programs or forced to do so (Like the case of the daily-drama "Asfor" for drug use). This rate is also used for documentaries films that includes inappropriate content. The rated show will never aired before 10.00pm (without considering). If the channel is broadcast 24 hours, it was broadcast only until 6.00 am.
- G (Blue): General rating is not an official one, and it's used only on Yes shows that do not match for the descriptions below. Shown only on the EPG or on TV promos.
- E (no rating) is given for sports and news
In 2010, a new content system is about to replace the current. Instead of the regular format, 12 years old will be the minimum rating for programs (without news or young children shows that will remain G) and followed by 15 and 18 with the addition of an explanation in case of sexual content, strong violence and scenes of drug abuse. Eventually the new content system was never adopted and the old system remained as it was.
Italy does not have an official television content rating system, and classification systems may differ from network to network. Generally a colored logo system is used:
- Green Logo: Suitable for all audiences
- Yellow Logo: Parental guidance suggested
- Red Logo: Recommended for older viewers
Major television networks respect a "Protected Time Schedule" (from 14:00 to 19:00), similar to the old family viewing hour used in the United States, in which objectionable content is not allowed to air during the hours when children may be watching. For films and TV series, usually the Italian motion picture classification system is observed. If a film rated V.M.18 (restricted to an older audience) in the theaters airs during the Italian prime time period (about at 10:45 pm/11:00 pm or later), the film will be shown edited to fit a V.M.14 (suitable for viewers between the ages of 14 and 17) rating.
Censorship's official television media in Japan, but on television, including animation, here is unlimited, and sometimes follow a rating system for Eirin: D, E, F.: Here, B, C, and possibly D, and is limited in several.
Shows inappropriate for children have a little red notice on the bottom right corner: a 13+ or 17+. Here some logos are appropriate for children kids and may watch: Green, Pink, Purple; and here are some inappropriate logos: Blue, Yellow and Red.
- C (Children): Especially Recommended or children and showed 6:00a-8:00a and 3:00p-8:00p on weekdays and only 6:00a-Noon On the weekend
- U (Universal): General viewing for all ages. Prior to the 2009 introduction of the PG-13 rating, all programs shown between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. were required to be U-rated. It can be shown anytime on all channels.
- PG-13: Parental guidance suggested for children under 13 years of age. This classification was introduced in 2009.
- 18: For viewers aged 18 and above. These programs may contain explicit scenes and mature content. This replaces the previous 18+ ratings that used prior to April 2010. Programs rated may only be broadcast after 10:00 pm. If the channel is broadcasting 24 hours, it can only be shown until 6:00 am.
18+ ratings used prior to April 2010
- 18-SG: For viewers aged 18 and above; contains excessive violent scenes.
- 18-SX: For viewers aged 18 and above; contains excessive sex scenes.
- 18-PA: For viewers aged 18 and above; features political, religious and/or counter-culture elements.
- 18-PL: For viewers aged 18 and above featuring a combination of two or more elements. (example: A program with excessive sex-scenes and excessive violence will be classified as 18-PL).
Ratings are shown at the beginning of the show and after every break (with the exception of news programs), for 10 to 15 seconds. Pornography is prohibited in Malaysian television. Please note that 18 rating icon, did not shown for the duration of the program, as did in South Africa and South Korea, mandatorily.
Astro only uses U and 18, and programs under both classifications can be shown anytime.
Television stations in the Maldives display a classification rating at the beginning of each program. News is an exception. Displaying classification rating after commercials is optional. Each television station uses different classification rating for their respective programs. Usually, all television stations use the following classification age groups.
- Y: Young Children
- G: General viewing for all ages.
- PG: Parental Guidance is required.
- PG-12: Similar to 12+ but all ages may watch
- 12+: Only For viewers aged 12 and above. (8-11 may watch with adults)
- 15+: Only For viewers aged 15 and above. (12-14 may watch with adults)
- 18+: [Restricted] Only For viewers aged 18 and above.
- 21+: [Restricted] Only For viewers 21 and above.
- X: [Restricted] Pornography (25+)
The Mexican TV ratings are similar to the Mexican movie ratings. The ratings are as followed:
- AA: appropriate and designed for children under 7. No sex or nudity, violence, or language of any level is allowed. Maybe Non-sexual love or mild nightmares etc.
- A: appropriate for all ages with little to no sex and little to no violent content.
- B: Designed for ages 12 and up which may contain some sexual situations, mild violence, and mild language.
- B-15: Designed for ages 15 and up. The content is a tad more explicit than the B rating. There are sexual innuendo and sexual situations, violence allowing some blood and gore, and coarse language.
- C: designed to be viewed only by adults 18 or older and may contain strong, scary violence, strong language and/or explicit sexual material.
- D: designed to be viewed only by "open minded" adults,(At the very least 19–22 years of age or more) as it most certainly contains strong, scary violence, strong language and/or explicit sexual material.
- RC Refused Classification, banned from public television in Mexico. For an example: This Film Is Not Yet Rated.
The television rating system in the Netherlands was created in 2001 by the Dutch Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM) and is known as Kijkwijzer (ViewingGuide or WatchWiser). The same rating systems are used for both television programs and films, and serve partly as guidelines (Programmes with the classification 12 years may only be broadcast from 8pm and with the classification 16 years from 10pm. Cinemas and theaters in the country cannot provide films with the classification 16 years to people under the age of 16). Animated versions of the icons used are also utilized in visual mediums. They are the same as Dutch film ratings.
The following icons are in use for age rating:
- All Ages (Alle leeftijden)
- Parental advisory for children under 6 (Let op met kinderen tot 6 jaar)
- Parental advisory for children under 9 (Let op met kinderen tot 9 jaar)
- Parental advisory for children under 12 (Let op met kinderen tot 12 jaar)
- Parental advisory for children under 16 (Let op met kinderen tot 16 jaar)
There are also six descriptor icons used:
- Violence (Geweld)
- Scary (Angst)
- Sex (Seks)
- Discrimination (Discriminatie)
- Drug and/or Alcohol abuse (Drugs- en/of alcoholmisbruik)
- Bad Language (Grof taalgebruik)
New Zealand has two separate content rating systems, one for free-to-air channels and one for pay TV services.
New Zealand's free-to-air TV content rating system has been in place since 1989 and is based on the system Australia was using from the early 1980s until 1994. There are three classifications:
G (General Programmes): These exclude material likely to harm children under 14 and can screen at any time. Programmes may not necessarily be designed for younger viewers, but must not contain material likely to cause them undue distress or discomfort.
PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended): Programmes more suited to more mature viewers. These are not necessarily unsuitable for children, but viewer discretion is advised, and parents and guardians are encouraged to supervise younger viewers. Programmes rated PGR can screen between 9am – 4pm and between 7pm – 6am.
AO (Adults Only): AO programmes contain material of an adult nature handled in such a way that it is unsuitable for children. Such programmes are directed primarily at a mature audience and can screen between noon and 3pm on a school day (except during school and public holidays as designated by the Ministry of Education), and between 8:30pm – 5:00am. A special sub-class of this rating, denoted AO 9:30 pm or later, is reserved for programmes with a "greater degree of sexual activity, potentially offensive language, realistic violence, sexual violence, or horrific encounters" and are considered unsuitable for viewing before that time. www.bsa.govt.nz.
The rating for each programme is shown at the start and after each commercial break. Some PGR programmes and most AO programmes have an advisory before the programme begins to advise of any specific content that could offend viewers such as language, nudity, sex and violence. For instance, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes (on FOUR) are advised and rated PGR for low-level violence.
The system for pay television is as follows:
- G: suitable for general audiences
- PG: Parental guidance recommended for under 11
- M: Suitable for mature audiences 13 and up
- 16: Suitable for viewers 16 and up
- 18: Suitable for viewers 18 and up
Any programme of any rating can air at any time, but care should be taken to observe the following guidelines (as per the Broadcasting Codes of Practice):
- Although most services these days make content filtering technology available to subscribers free-of-charge, channels carried by providers that do not have said technology can only screen material rated 18 between the hours of 8pm and 6am, and also between 9am and 3pm on school days.
- Programming rated M or higher should not be scheduled on either side of a program rated G.
- Visual warning labels should be displayed before certain programmes rated PG or higher. More than one can be used and the labels are:
- C: Content may offend
- V: Violence
- L: Language
- S: Sexual content
The age rating system in the Peru television came into force in 2005 as President of the republic Alejandro Toledo and the Congress passed this law for radio and television. The open-signal channels that show their age rating are: América Televisión, ATV, Frecuencia Latina, Global TV and La Tele. Nevertheless, the channels: TV Peru, Panamericana Television, etc. do not show their classification.
The ratings for television programs are available on some Peruvian channels. The rating system used in Peru is listed below.
However, América Televisión is the only channel that uses its own rating system with four categories:
In the Philippines, television content rating system can be traced back to late-1990s. The old graphic that was implemented from the late-1990s to October 5, 2011 consists of a static Parental Guidance (or PG) digital on-screen graphic or text appears at the upper left or at the bottom right of the screen during a program if it was rated as such. If there is no graphic, it is understood that a show is rated General Patronage.
However, in order to encourage parents to supervise and be responsible with their children in watching television, there are four television ratings that has been utilized by the board last October 6, 2011. These are: 
Pictogram Classification rating English name Official Tagalog name Description G General Patronage None All viewers may watch. PG Parental Guidance Patnubay at Gabay Parental guidance is stongly recommended. Programmes rated PG may contain sensitive content. SPG Strong Parental Guidance Striktong Patnubay at Gabay Parental guidance is strictly necessary to watch programmes rated SPG. The actual implementation of SPG, however, is delayed until further notice from the board. None X Disapproved for Airing None Programmes rated X are not recommended for public viewing. This rating was still not introduced to the public.
The new ratings patterned its system to the old one, but the look and the ratings itself was completely revamped. The new system consists a new full-screen advisory of the programme's rating and is shown strictly before a programme, whatever the programme is, other than the pictogram appears at the bottom right of the screen during a program if it was rated as such. The pictogram advisory is also color-coded (see the table above). All programs, except some children programmes, are either rated PG or SPG.
Poland before 2000 did not have any uniform classification system for television programs. Some stations, however, applied their own system of signs: in front of the selected films TVP board applied the "Adult Only" or "film for adult audiences only." in Canal + before the film to show in chart with key Canal + in the appropriate color (green, yellow, red). Until 27 February 2000 decided to mark the so-called TVN "adult movies" with a pulsating red 18+ logo . March 1, 2000 an agreement was Polish television broadcasters as "friendly media" in order to introduce in Poland a uniform system of classification of television programs. The signatories of the agreement were nine television broadcasters: TVP, Polsat, TVN, our TV, Canal +, Vision TV, Poland and Cable TV Niepokalanow. They had time until 31 March 2000 on the introduction of the signs. March 1, 2000 the system runs on TV and our TV, TVN system appeared in mid-March 2000, while the other stations on March 20, 2000, Canal + after 2000 used the characters from the film. This system consisted of three signs are displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.
Prior to August 2005 the ratings system consisted of three icons and 3 age groups:
Symbol Age restriction General Viewing. Parental Discretion Advised, May Contain Mild Sex, Violence Or Swearing. Adults Only, May Contain Strong Sexual Content, Violence And Sexual And Violent References
Signs displayed on the first three minutes of the film if the sign flashed ads for the next three minutes after each advertising break if not advertising signs flashed for three minutes every 20 minutes. The current Polish television rating system was introduced on 28 August 2011 and consists of five icons:
Symbol Age restriction Broadcast restriction Possible contents None none positive or neutral view of the world, little to no violence, non-sexual love, and no sexual content. 7+ none as above; may additionally contain some foul language, bloodless violence, and a more negative view of the world; minimal rating for live broadcasts. None But Recommended for 12+ none may contain some foul language, some violence, and some sexual content. Mature 16+ only
8 PM–6 AM
deviant social behavior, world filled with violence and sexuality, simplified picture of adulthood, display of physical force, especially in controversial social context (against parents, teachers, etc.), immoral behavior without ethic dilemma, putting the blame on the victim, excessive concentration on material possessions. 18+ (Adults) only
11 PM–6 AM
one-sided display of the joys of adult life without showing responsibilities (e.g. work), social justification of violent behavior, excessive vulgarity, use of racial slurs and social stereotypes, explicit sexual content, praise of aggression or vulgarity.
Unlike the previous rating symbols icons in the revised system are seen continually during movies and TV programs (except commercials). News, weather forecasts, sports, and commercials are exempt from classification.
TV ratings on Portuguese television were many times refused by the audience. For a long time the only existing regulation was a red circular logo for programs with potentially shocking or harmful content.
However, in addition to this, all major TV networks decided in 2006 to apply a more specific rating system for the shows:
- Todos (suitable for all)
- 10, Aconselhamento Parental (may not be suitable for children under 10, parental guidance is suggested) Nevertheless, some foul language, blood, drug reference and censored sex is allowed. Most soap operas are rated 10 ( Morangos com Açúcar, Laços de Sangue,..)
- 12, Aconselhamento Parental (may not be suitable for children under 12, parental guidance is suggested)
- 16 (may not be suitable for children under 16)
These logos must be shown during one minute in the beginning of any program and after every break. If a program is rated 16, it can only be broadcast between 10:30pm and 6am.
The rating system for programs and films shown on Romanian television:
- Y: (Young Ages)
- G: (General Exbition)
- AP: Acordul părinţilor (Parental guidance is recommended for children below the age of 12)
- 12: Interzis copiilor sub 12 ani (Not recommended for children under 12 years of age)
- 15: Interzis minorilor sub 15 ani (Not recommended for children under 15 years of age)
- 18: Interzis minorilor sub 18 ani (Not recommended for children under 18 years of age)
In Serbia, TV stations are obliged to mark all programs that could endanger children and youth. TV programs that could endanger minors in any way must be clearly marked, and the custodians warned. Each program displayed before midnight, has to be marked with a clearly visible age limit (e.g. 12, 14, 16, 18) which warns the parents and other audience if it program is not suitable for all minors. It is displayed at the beginning (usually in a big red circle across the screen) and each 15 minutes (on a visible location, usually in a corner) of the show. On radio, this warning is presented by the speaker. a G rating is when nothing appears. an L,M,N means it's suitable for kids and children and young, and all ages may watch. Like (12,14,16,18) that they are exempt from classification, and replaced by P, Q and R.
All broadcasters have the right to classify programs on their own, but the Serbian Republic Broadcasting Agency (RBA) reserves its right to punish or warn the stations if they do not mark the programs at all, do not mark it as described or systematically estimate age categories wrongly. The broadcasters have the right to ask the agency's opinion in certain show if they are not capable of recognizing its category. They are also advised to take care of the usual children schedule and to avoid problematic material in time when it could be easily expected that minors are watching or listening the program.
Singapore has adopted the use of TV Ratings from 15 July 2011. They consist of PG and PG13 ratings. The shows rated PG may be aired anytime while PG13 airs between 10pm to 6am. StarHub TV does not show notification if a program is rated 16 or 18.
Slovenian government accepted a law in 2004 in which television stations are required to play a warning before a film and display on of the following logos:
However, the television stations use only the following logos:
South African ratings are issued and certified by the Film and Publication Board, whilst the National Broadcasting Commission regulates the various films and programs. All television stations, cinemas and distributors of DVD, video and computer games must display the following signage:
- Family: This is a program/film that does not contain any obscenity, and is suitable for family viewing. A logo must be displayed in the corner of the screen for 30 seconds after each commercial break.
- PG: Children under 12 may watch this program/film, but must be accompanied by an adult. This program contains an adult related theme, which might include very mild language, violence and sexual innuendo. A logo must be displayed in the corner of the screen for one minute after each commercial break.
- 13: Children under 13 are prohibited from watching this program/film. This program contains mild language, violence and sexual innuendo. A logo must be displayed in the corner of the screen for two minutes after each commercial break.
- 16: Children under 16 are prohibited from watching this program/film. It contains moderate violence, language, and some sexual situations. In the case of television, this program may only be broadcast after 9pm–4:30am. A logo must be displayed in the corner of the screen for five minutes after each commercial break. A full-screen warning must be issued before the start of the program. If the program is longer than an hour, a warning must be displayed every half an hour.
- 18: Children under 18 are prohibited from watching this program/film. It contains extreme violence, language and/or graphic sexual content. In the case of television, this program may only be broadcast from 10pm–4:30am. A logo must be displayed in the corner of the screen for the duration of the program. A full-screen warning must be issued before the start of the program and after each commercial break.
(The 18 rating does not refer to adult, child or animal pornography—as this is banned from television and cinema by the Film and Publication Board.)
- R18: this is reserved for films of an extreme sexual nature (pornography). R18 films may only be distributed in the form of video and DVD in a controlled environment (e.g. Adult Shops). No public viewing of this film may take place. R18 films may not be broadcast on television and in cinemas. This has been breached twice by ETv, where the soft bordering hardcore Emmanuelle was screened.
(The R18 rating does not refer to child or animal pornography—as this is totally banned by the Film and Publication Board.)
The South Korean television rating system has been in force since 2000, and it started with only four classifications which are All, 7, 13 and 19. In February 2001, all programs except domestic dramas (which had been enforced since November 2002) has required to have a rating system. In 2007, rating 13 was changed into 12 and a new rating, 15 is introduced. Most programs have to be rated, except the "exempt" rating below. Even if it qualifies for being exempt, a broadcaster may apply a rating.
- All (모든 연령 시청가, Mo-deun yeon-ryeong si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programming that is appropriate for all ages. This program usually involves programs designed for children. This rating does not have an icon.
- 7 (7세 이상 시청가, chil-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programming that may contain material inappropriate for children younger than 7, and parental discretion should be used.
- 12 (12세 이상 시청가, sib-ee-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programs that may contain material inappropriate for those younger than 12, and parental discretion should be used. Usually used for animations that have stronger themes or violence then those designed for children, or for reality variety programs that have mild violence, theme, or language.
- 15 (15세 이상 시청가, sib-o-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programs that contain material that may be inappropriate for children under 15, and that parental discretion should be used. Examples include most reality variety programs, dramas, and talk shows on OTA TV (KBS, MBC, SBS), and many American TV shows/dramas on Cable TV channels like OCN and OnStyle. The programs that have this rating may include moderate or strong adult themes, language, sexual inference, and violence. Since 2007, this rating is the most used rating for TV.
- 19 (19세 이상 시청가, sib-gu-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programs that are not recommended to those younger than 19. 19-rated programming may air only after 11:00 PM and before 7:00 AM, thus after the watershed. If a program is classified as this rating, the icon has to be displayed through the duration of the program.
- Exempt (no icon or name): This rating is only for knowledge based game shows; lifestyle shows; documentary shows; news; current topic discussion shows; education/culture shows; sports that excludes MMA or other violent sports; and other programs that Korea Communications Standards Commission recognizes. Disclaimer or rating icons are not needed.
Ratings are displayed every ten minutes, lasting 30 seconds. It also has to be displayed after every commercial break. Ratings may be displayed either on the upper-left or upper-right corner of the screen, with a size of at least 1/20 of the screen, and in black writing on a yellow circle with a white outline, except for the "All" rating, which does not have an icon. A rating disclaimer is displayed on the start of the program for five seconds explaining "Because this program is not appropriate for children/youth under the X years old, parental viewing discretion is required"(이 프로그램은 X세 미만의 어린이/청소년이 시청하기에 부적절하므로 보호자의 시청지도가 필요한 프로그램입니다, I peu-ro-geu-raem eun "X: se-mi-man ui eo rin-i/cheong-so nyeon-i si cheong hagi e bu-jeok jeol ha-meu robo hoja ui si cheong-ji doga pir-yo han peu-ro-geu-raem ipnida) for 7, 12, and 15 ratings. "All" and "19" ratings have a different disclaimer, which say "This program is watchable by audience of all ages"(이 프로그램은 모든 연령의 시청자가 시청할 수 있는 프로그램입니다) and "This program is not suggested for children/youth under age 19"(이 프로그램은 19세 미만의 어린이/청소년이 시청하기에 부적절합니다) respectively.
South Korean television ratings do not include content descriptors or viewer advisory as they do in the United States and Australia. The ratings are therefore used in a broader sense. Based on the impact of one element, for example, an otherwise "12"-rated show with occasionally stronger violence (or other element) may receive a "15" instead of an additional advisory.
These are the symbols of the Spanish rating system for television programs:
- Lack of symbol A: E (Exempt) mostly sports news and art
- Lack of symbol B: TP (Todos los públicos). Recommended for all ages.
- 7 or +7 : Recommended for people older than seven years old. Some broadcasters like Televisión Española (TVE) show this on top of a green background.
- 13 or +13 : Recommended for people older than 13 years old.
- 18 or +18 : Recommended for people older than 18 years old.
Rating symbols are shown at the beginning of a program and after every commercial break. On '+18' rated programs, a brief warning tone can also be heard. '18' or '+18' rated programs are not allowed to be shown before 10.00 pm and after 6.00 am.
The Swiss system only contains one symbol which is used for content unsuitable for children and young teenagers. It is a red rectangle that appears next to or below the TV channel logo and for the whole duration of the show. Moreover, the following text appears on the whole screen right before the content is aired, in the language of the channel: "This program contains scenes that may hurt sensible people, therefore the red symbol will be displayed."
Those contents are usually aired after 10:00 p.m.
Taiwanese rating system for television programs was introduced in 1999 and there are four symbols:
- General audiences category ("普"級): For all ages.
- Protected category ("護"級): Not suitable for children under 6 years old. People aged 6 but under 12 require guidance from accompanying adults to watch.
- Parental guidance category ("輔"級): Not suitable for people under 12 years of age. Parental guidance is required for people aged 12 but under 18.
- Restricted category ("限"級): For adults only and people under 18 years of age must not watch. The program under this rating can only be broadcast after 10:00 PM and before 6:00 AM.
The Television Classification System has been firstly introduced in the Kingdom of Thailand on 1 December 2006. The System is a project of the Government Public Relations Department by the Office of National Broadcasting Commission and all six Thai TV stations to set up a procedure of TV program classification. The original system used four main rating signs (each a different color) and three sub-ratings (using Thai characters) shown on screen before and during the duration of the program. However, the stations have to follow the existing laws—do's and don't's—on broadcasting programs.
The new rating system has replaced the old system since 15 October 2007 in order to remove confusion with different colors. Now only green, yellow and red are used. The ratings (translated into English) used are as follows:
- PC3+ (Pre-school Children): made for children aged 3–5. (ป 3+)
- C6+ (Children): made for children aged 6+. (ด 6+)
- G (General): for all ages. (ท ทุกวัย)
- PG13+ (Parental Guidance 13): Not suitable for children under 13 (น 13+)
- PG18+ (Parental Guidance 18): Not suitable for children under 18 (น 18+)
- AO: Adult Only (18+ only). (ฉ เฉพาะผู้ใหญ่)
- Green: All Ages May Watch
- Yellow: Not Recommended For Younger Kids but all ages may watch
- Red: Restricted to the limit and over
The Radio and Television Supreme Council introduced a television rating system, named "Akıllı İşaretler" (Smart Symbols) in 2005.
- General Audience (Genel İzleyici)
- For 7 or up (7 Yaş ve Üzeri için)
- For 13 or up (13 Yaş ve Üzeri için)
- For 18 or up (18 Yaş ve Üzeri için)
These icons can be accompanied by any of the following subratings:
- Sexual Activity (Cinsellik)
- Horror and/or Violence (Korku ve Şiddet)
- Inappropriate Material (Olumsuz Örnek Oluşturabilecek Davranışlar)—refers to drug/alcohol/tobacco use, profanity/crude language, etc.
Ukrainan TV content rating was adopted on April, 14 in 2003. It somewhat looks like Poland's ratings. Listed below are designations of Ukraine classification:
- Green Circle: this program does not have restrictions. To it category related family films, comedies, cartoons, some action and mystical films, drama films, concerts.
- Yellow Triangle: children must view this program with parents. In it program there are fragments, which unsuitable for children. It is: action films, some comedies and dramas, horror films. Programs with this rating usually broadcast in the evening (6 pm–5 am).
- Red Square: this program is only for adult viewers. In it there are scenes with nudity, drug use, or violence. It can be some action films with big violence level and excessive bloodshed, horrors, mystical films. These programs broadcast late at night (10 pm–5 am). But if there is a red square in the lower right corner of the screen, it is not necessarily a dangerous film for children to view.
These designations must be in the lower right corner. Green circle can be shown for only the first three minutes, but other marks must be present over the time of this programs.
- For details on the video and DVD classification system in the UK, see British Board of Film Classification.
Here are some of the television ratings will use in January 2012:
- Y: The Pink Circle—Children under 0–7
- 8: The Purple Circle—Children 8–9
- U: The Green Circle—Universal/All Ages
- P: The Blue Circle—Parental Guidance
- 14: The Yellow Cirle—Teen 14–15
- R: The Orange Circle—Restricted 16–17
- A: The Red Circle—Adults 18 and Up
In the United Kingdom there is general TV rating system as the television regulator, Ofcom, sets clear boundaries for what can be shown and when. The most obvious example of this is in the watershed, the time after which more explicit content (15, 18) can be shown. On main broadcast television channels this is 9pm, however on certain satellite channels it is 8pm.
In addition to Ofcom's requirements, some channels have also adopted their own systems, currently until 2012:
- BBC One and ITV have implemented verbal announcements before programs indicating the nature of the content about to be shown, although they show comparatively little explicit material when compared to BBC Two, Channel 4, Channel 5, and the other channels available for no extra charge on Freeview, all of which now make similar warnings. In theory any program may be shown immediately after the 9pm watershed, however, the schedulers tend to employ a 'sliding scale' attitude to the content; it is therefore down to the personal discretion of each scheduler as to what is shown and when. In addition to the watershed rules there is lee-way offered at anytime of the day dependent upon the educational reasons for showing an item; for example you could see an unedited child birth, or get explicit advice on sexual health should that be the topic of the program.
- In addition to the above, Channel 4 occasionally has extra announcements before a program resumes from a commercial break, if the content in a certain segment is viewed to be likely to cause offence. (i.e. if the program crosses the watershed). Examples include the usage of the word "cunt" on Big Brother and a standard "don't try this at home" disclaimer before and during Jackass. See also red triangle.
- Five does not have a rating system, but it is joined along with OFCOM, roughly based on a mixture of the BBFC and MPAA movie classification systems, used for films only:
- Universal rating: The film is appropriate for all ages and may even be suitable for family viewing.
- Guidance rating: Can contain some mild violence, language or brief nudity. Some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
- Caution rating: Can contain strong violence, swearing, sex, explicit material or disturbing scenes. For adults only.
- Sky Movies shows a screen displaying a rating of a film before it is broadcast. The ratings are based on the BBFC ratings and a verbal announcement such as "Sky has rated the following film as 12" is given. Explicit content (15, 18-rated) may be shown before the watershed because the channels are PIN protected on digital satellite and cable.
- It is often noticeable that Channel 4 are more likely to either cut out parts without notifying the audience or notify them of the content before the program is to come on. Such examples that are edited for daytime viewing are repeats of many popular shows such as; Big Brother, Friends, Will and Grace, The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives. One such scene in Desperate Housewives episode "Now You Know" was deemed too racially offensive to air even in the 10pm timeslot, but this scene was also cut on a global scale after its initial airing in the USA caused so many problems. It is now thought that Channel 4 are a lot more sensitive with the controversial shows, since the controversy that was given out on a global scale with the Celebrity Big Brother racism controversy in 2007.
The TV Parental Guidelines system was first proposed on December 19, 1996 by the United States Congress, the television industry and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and went into effect by January 1, 1997 on most major U.S. broadcast and cable networks in response to public concerns of increasingly explicit sexual content, graphic violence and strong profanity in television programs. It was established as a voluntary-participation system, with ratings to be determined by the individually-participating broadcast and cable networks. It was specifically designed to be used with the V-chip, which was mandated to be built into all television sets manufactured since 2000, but the guidelines themselves have no legal force, and does not apply to news or sports programming, thus precluding networks like CNN, Fox News Channel, ESPN and Fox Sports Net from applying the ratings system, along with the majority of infomercials (which are classified the same as regular commercial break advertising, which also is not rated); however recently, this rule has stopped applying to some entertainment news and newsmagazine programs such as Extra and Access Hollywood which all now carry TV-PG ratings mainly due to fair use clip content from outside sources including reality television programming which is often above the TV-G threshold.
All ages 0 and older
Whether animated or live-action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 0–6. These programs are not expected to frighten younger children.
Directed to children 7 and older
Shows with this rating may or may not be appropriate for some children under the age of 7. They may contain crude or suggestive humor, mild fantasy violence, or content considered too scary to be shown to children under seven.
Directed to children 7 and older with fantasy violence in shows
When a show has noticeably more fantasy violence, it is assigned the TV-Y7-FV rating. Action-adventure shows may carry this rating. Most Japanese anime dubbed and aimed at children in the United States are given this rating.
Although shows with this rating are not necessarily targeted to children, they can be enjoyed by a variety of age groups. Networks that air informational, religious, how-to, or otherwise generally inoffensive content (such as the Food Network and HGTV) usually apply a blanket TV-G rating to all of their shows, unless otherwise noted. Programming directed at pre-teens and teens on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and TeenNick are rated TV-G for mild language and innuendo. During the 20th century, most cartoons used this rating as a sign that the show contained comic violence or animated smoking that was suitable for family viewing.
Parental guidance suggested
This rating signifies that the program may be unsuitable for children under the age of 9 or 10 without the guidance of a parent. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. Various game shows and most reality shows are rated TV-PG for their suggestive dialogue, suggestive humor, and/or coarse language. Some anime programs are given this rating, as are many prime-time series. Prime-time Cartoon Network series and all World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programs (including those aired on pay-per-view) after 2008 were changed to TV-PG.
- The TV-PG rating may be accompanied by one or more of the following sub-ratings:
- D for some suggestive dialogue
- L for infrequent coarse language
- S for some sexual situations
- V for moderate violence
Parents strongly cautioned/May be unsuitable for children under 14 years of age
Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under 14 watch unattended. This rating may be accompanied by any of the following sub-ratings:
- D for strong suggestive dialogue
- L for strong coarse language
- S for intense sexual situations
- V for intense violence
Many programs that air after 9 p.m. are rated TV-14. Certain PG-13 or R-rated feature films are rated TV-14 when edited for broadcast. Anime series may alternatively switch between a TV-PG and TV-14 rating, while most anime are TV-14. Most hour-long dramas are rated TV-14, as are prime-time sitcoms aimed at adult audiences (the shows airing on Fox have a viewer discretion advisory as well). Some shows on Animal Planet that contain gruesome animal violence hold a TV-14 rating. Some music video shows, mainly during late night hours, also have this rating. Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) programs bear a TV-14 due to violence and sexual dialogue. This is in contrast to TNA's competitor, WWE, whose shows bear a TV-PG rating.
Live programming, such as televised awards ceremonies, concerts, and some specials, is sometimes issued a general TV-14 rating because of the possibility that profanity or suggestive dialogue may be used.
Mature audience — unsuitable for audiences under 17
A TV-MA rating means the program may be unsuitable for those below 17. This rating was originally named TV-M in early 1997, but was changed because of a trademark dispute and to remove confusion with the ESRB's "M for Mature" rating for video games. Programs rated TV-MA may contain extreme graphic violence, strong profanity, overtly sexual dialogue, nudity, and/or strong sexual content. The vast majority of television shows that carry this rating air on cable and satellite television; network television rarely airs any programming that would warrant such a rating due to FCC indecency and obscenity guidelines that prevent most of this type of programming from airing on broadcast television. The film Schindler's List was the first film broadcast on network television to display this rating, and the pilot episode of the CBS police drama Brooklyn South was the first series on network TV to display the rating. Original programming airing in the late evening on some cable networks generally will carry this rating.
- This rating may be accompanied by any of the following sub-ratings:
- D for intensely suggestive dialogue (unused for different TV-MA shows)
- L for crude indecent language
- S for explicit sexual activity
- V for graphic violence
The implications of these ratings, particularly the TV-MA rating, vary greatly depending on the situation. For example, South Park, which airs on Comedy Central, generally contains explicit language, so it carries a TV-MA rating; syndicated versions of South Park, however, are heavily censored and cut, and employ a TV-14 rating instead. Other TV-MA programs on Comedy Central have no restrictions on language. Language may still be censored by a network or air completely unfiltered, depending on such factors as creative network choices or the need to appeal to advertisers leery of placing spots on a TV-MA program. Adult Swim shows are rated TV-MA for racism and strong sexual humor. Other shows that are frequently rated TV-MA include original series on the FX cable network, as well as original programming on premium television services such as Showtime and HBO. A blanket "TV-MA" rating is also usually given to softcore pornographic films or TV series airing on channels such as Cinemax and most of the Showtime networks, due to full-frontal nudity and the depiction of simulated Sexual Intercourse.
Television content in Venezuela is regulated by the Law on Social Responsibility on Radio and Television (Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio y Televisión), introduced in January 2003. The law established a rating system from A to E based on evaluation of language, health, sex, and violence in a program. Content rated A contains mild content. Programs with certain ratings may only air at certain times; cable providers must block programs with a rating of E for sexual content, or be fined.
Vietnam will introduce rating in June 2011. The Vietnamese rating system is based on the original Thai system except Vietnam has add a category for "20+".
- TMG/3-6T: Preschool, for ages 3–6, from 9:00 to 16:00 (blue)
- TE/6-12T: Children, for ages 6–12, from 7:00 to 20:00 (blue)
- MN: Everyone (green)
- HD/13T+: Guidance, for ages 13+ (yellow)
The ratings are broadcast at the start of the program. HD and NL are always on the bottom-left of the screen.
The Classifications for Television Viewing introduced in the Yugoslavia in 2009. The ratings used are as follows:
- Exempt: Only sports, art or news shows are exempt (so nothing that would lead to a RE12+ or higher) but no particular Content rating.
- Green Circle: For all ages
- Yellow Circle: Parental Advisory
- RE12+: Recommended for viewers 12 and above (Kids aged 6–11 may watch with an adult)—in the top left corner a yellow 12 is seen
- RE15+: Recommended for viewers aged 15 and above (kids aged 11–14 may watch with an adult)—an orange 15 is seen in the top left corner
- R18+: Restricted under 18—a red circle with a black 18 is shown in the top left corner
All television stations in the country must clearly show the ratings at the beginning of a show (with the exception of news programs).
Countries that do not have television ratings
- People's Republic of China
- India- India Has thus, showed no TV Ratings. But the Government in New Delhi ie: Pratibha Patil has declared to give TV Ratings in 2015.
- ^ Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2007). ABC Code of Practice: March 2007.
- ^ Special Broadcasting Service. SBS Codes of Practice.
- ^ Special Broadcasting Service. SBS Codes of Practice. (Section 4.5: Classification Categories.)
- ^ Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (2007). Subscription Broadcast Television Codes of Practice 2007.
- ^ For further details about Brazilian system:TV Rating System: building citizenship on the small screen. Brasília: ANDI, Secretaria Nacional de Justiça, 2006.
- ^ "Canadian television networks begin rating system". LifeSiteNews.com. 1997-09-29. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/1997/sep/97092901.html. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- ^ http://www.cab-acr.ca/english/social/antiviolence/icons_manual.shtm
- ^ For further details, refer to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Code of Ethics and Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming
- ^ Comisión Nacional de Televisión, Artículo 2o. Aviso Sobre el Contenido de los Programas – Acuerdo 17 de 1997, 3 April 1997
- ^ Comisión Nacional de Televisión, Artículo 2o. Contenido del Mensaje – Acuerdo 4 de 1997, 13 February 1997
- ^ a b Comisión Nacional de Televisión, Artículo 4o. Horario de Emisón cel Artículo Institucional – Acuerdo 4 de 1997, 13 February 1997
- ^ Germán Yances Peña, Comisión Nacional de Televisión, Concepto 54A de 2004 - Concepto respecto de los contenidos que constituyen programación infantil, 8 July 2004
- ^ Comisión Nacional de Televisión, Artículo 15. Pornografía - Acuerdo 17 de 1997, 3 April 1997
- ^ "Classfication ng TV ratings, nirepaso ng MTRCB" (in Tagalog). DZMM. http://dzmm.abs-cbnnews.com/news/Entertainment/Classification_ng_TV_ratings%2C_nirepaso_ng_MTRCB.html. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- ^ Cruz, Marinel (06 October 2011). "MTRCB revises rating system for TV shows". Philippine Daily Inquirer. http://entertainment.inquirer.net/16561/mtrcb-revises-rating-system-for-tv-shows. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- ^ Matabuena, Julien Merced (06 October 2011). "Revised TV classifications launched by MTRCB". Manila Bulletin. http://mb.com.ph/node/336837/revi. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- ^ http://www.mk.gov.si/fileadmin/mk.gov.si/pageuploads/Ministrstvo/Zakonodaja/Predlogi_zakonov/pravilnik-84.clen.pdf Slovenian media law
- ^ a b c d e f "May 2009 Classification Guidelines" (PDF) (Press release). Film and Publication Board. 2009-05-06. http://www.fpb.gov.za/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=44&tmpl=component&format=raw&Itemid=103. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- ^ "Akıllı İşaretler" (in tr). http://www.rtukisaretler.gov.tr/RTUK/index.jsp. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- ^ a b "FCC V-Chip". Fcc.gov. http://www.fcc.gov/vchip/. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
- ^ Aversa, Jeannine (March 13, 1997). "Trademark Problem: TV-M To Become TV-MA". The Seattle Times. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970313&slug=2528555.
- ^ Venezuela’s Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television
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