NEW YORK (March 2, 2006) – The
Parents Television Council® Executive
Director Tim Winter issued the following statement today at
a news conference announcing TiVo's new service called
"On behalf of the more than one million
members of the PTC, it is an honor and a pleasure to be here
with you today in support of TiVo's new service, called
"Last year I received a phone call from
TiVo's President and CEO, Tom Rogers. Tom told me that TiVo
was developing an exciting new feature that would help
parents protect their children from harmful and offensive
programming, and that he would like the PTC opinion on the
"I will be honest; I was skeptical. Skeptical
because I've seen the V-chip and channel-blocking
technologies offered by the broadcast and cable industries.
Skeptical because the V-chip is based on a ratings system
which most parents don't understand. Skeptical because a
television program's rating is determined by the TV network
rather than by parents, and the network is financially
motivated to under-rate a program because advertisers might
not sponsor it if rated as violent or sexually explicit.
Skeptical because, as the PTC proved in a research paper
last year, the television ratings system is inaccurate much
– if not most – of the time. Skeptical because the industry
has used the V-chip as a "Trojan Horse" by which to
broadcast even more violent and sexually explicit
programming because, hey, they warned us.
"So yes, I was skeptical. But I've known Tom
for a long time and I give great deference to his business
instincts. So I paid a visit to the TiVo offices in Alviso,
California, to learn more about KidZone. And I was very
impressed with what I saw.
"With KidZone, parents will be able to manage
the media consumption of their children in a way that
values, not Hollywood's values. I need to explain why this
is so important.
"As I stand here today – at this very moment
– a press conference is being held in Washington DC
announcing the release of the PTC's most recent study,
Wolves in Sheep's Clothing:
A Content Analysis of Children's Television. I
have copies of that study here with me, and I encourage you
to take one. Our study addresses the content of over 400
hours of commercial television programming produced for –
and marketed directly to – young children. Kids networks
like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and
Saturday morning programs on the broadcast networks.
"The results of our investigation shocked
even us. Violence, bullying, name calling, bathroom humor,
and even sexual references are the over-arching themes
present in the landscape of contemporary children's
television. And when I say violence, I don't just mean the
‘Wile E. Coyote dropping an Acme anvil on the Road Runner'
kind of violence. I mean realistic, graphic violence, most
of which airs without the proper TV Content Rating. Echoing
the words of Harvard Medical School's Dr. Michael Rich, who
is participating at our press conference in Washington
today, remember that children under the age of 8 years are
developmentally incapable of making a clear distinction
between fantasy and reality.
"This is a critical mental health issue for
"With KidZone, a parent has the ability to
filter harmful and offensive programs which, tragically,
many networks are directly, overtly, marketing to small
children. With KidZone, a child can record and view only
material that a parent has determined meets their family
standards. And with KidZone, broadcasters cannot hide behind
the sham that their current content rating system truly is.
"We congratulate TiVo for developing this
exciting new feature, and we look forward to reviewing the
final consumer product. Once we complete our formal product
review, we hope to present TiVo with the PTC's Seal of
Approval, to provide a reliable source of program
information, and to help them reach out to consumers who
will want this product."