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June 11, 2012


PTC Jeers Half-Hearted Expansion of TV Ratings Policy

Says Move Is Useless without Accurate Ratings, Accountability


LOS ANGELES (June 11, 2012) – The Parents Television Council® today welcomed the decision by TV networks ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telefutura, Telemundo and Univision to expand their ratings to online content, a move PTC encouraged in a 2010 online video study. However, PTC cautioned that the decision rings hollow without reform to a system that lacks accuracy, consistency, transparency and accountability.

“We are pleased to see that the networks have finally expressed an intention to display ratings for their online content, which is something the PTC called for in our November 2010 study, ‘Untangling the Web of Internet Video.’ In that study, the PTC showed that four of the most popular online distributors, including Hulu, Fancast, /Slashcontrol, and AT&T, all failed to provide consistent and accurate content ratings for parents,” said PTC president Tim Winter.

“Unfortunately, if the online rating system is similar to the current television rating system, then this move is a distinction without difference. PTC has proven time and time again that the TV content ratings system is a facade, citing inaccurate and inconsistent ratings designated by the networks themselves with no accountability. In fact, in today’s statement, it is made clear that each network will have its own system, which will no doubt promote even more inconsistency and inhibit reliance by the very parents who need the technology. Programmers and distributors can – and must – do better.

“The timing of this announcement on the eve of the Supreme Court’s broadcast decency decision in Fox v. FCC is dubious. Broadcasters have a unique publicly-granted privilege and it is past time for them to start providing real solutions to parents, rather than attempting half measures designed to sway the Court’s and the public’s opinion. This is too big an issue to continue playing games. We hope that the networks will allow more public involvement in designing a new system that will give parents the tools they need to protect children,” concluded 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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