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Press Release

June 21, 2011


Parents TV Council Calls on FCC to Reform V-Chip Agreement

New Studies Show Parents Dissatisfied with Current Rating System

LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2011) – The Parents Television Council® joined with parents and families to call on the Federal Communications Commission to review the current V-Chip Agreement in light of three new studies showing that parents find the current television rating system inadequate.  The three studies, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, included data collected from about 700 parents, who gave feedback on the current ratings systems and improvements that could be made to help protect their children.

“These three studies affirm everything we have said about the flaws in the various ratings systems. The current television ratings system is not only inadequate but biased. Right now, even if the V-Chip and other blocking technologies are properly programmed they can still only be as effective as the ratings they depend on – ratings that are assigned by the networks themselves. If the ratings are incomplete or inaccurate, parents have no sure way of knowing what content may be seen by their children,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“In 2009, after an FCC examination into parental control technologies, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski pledged to work on new solutions for parents, saying ‘Government has a vital role to play in helping parents and protecting children.’  These reports serve as concrete evidence that the government has failed in that goal.  After two years we still have yet to see a single significant action taken.

“The researchers found that fewer than one in five parents believe they can rely on the rating systems for movies, TV and video games. Shockingly, less than six percent of the parents surveyed felt that the ratings were always accurate, and their suspicion has been proven correct by study after study.  This is particularly relevant as we await the decision of the Supreme Court on whether to uphold a California law that would hold video game retailers accountable for selling or renting adult games to unaccompanied children.

“These studies serve as conclusive evidence of the urgent need for reform of the current system, meaningful oversight from FCC and good faith implementation from the entertainment industry.  Many studies have linked violent media content to an increase in aggressive behavior in children and teens. Exposure to sexual content has been linked to earlier sexual activity. The FCC must reexamine the original v-chip agreement to ensure the terms are being met, as well as begin a proceeding on new tools for parents as promised by Chairman Genachowski,” concluded Mr. Winter.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





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