Broadcast Nets Offer TV Ratings For Kids' Shows Online

TV-PG-Rating-ALooking to bridge the gap for kids when it comes to online TV program viewing, seven broadcasting networks say they plan to offer additional TV content ratings for parents.

ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, TeleFutura, Telemundo and Univision say an expanded TV ratings system for parents can be used when children access broadcast television programs on the Internet. This is for all full-length entertainment programs that stream on the networks' Web sites.

TV ratings will appear at the beginning of full-length video programs and also in the online programming descriptions. Network sites will also include or link to ratings system information. No details were released of what those ratings might look like. The networks say they will each determine their own ratings systems to start Dec. 1.

Current TV content ratings systems have been used voluntarily since 1997, when most major U.S. broadcast and cable networks responded to public concerns of sexual content, graphic violence and strong profanity in TV programs.

Ratings at the start of each program can include: TV-Y, for all audiences; TV-PG: parental guidance suggested; TV-14, parents are strongly cautioned and may be inappropriate for children younger than 14 years of age; and TV-MA, for mature audiences, and inappropriate for people under 17 years of age.



Jim Dyke, executive director of TV Watch, stated that the content ratings are "one of the most popular tools parents use to help make decisions about what their children watch on television. The most recent data shows that 68% of parents use the TV ratings system and 95% of the parents who use them often find the ratings help."

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