Television content rating system
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Television content rating systems are systems for evaluating the content and reporting the suitability of television programs for children, teenagers, or adults. Many countries have their own television rating system and countries' rating processes vary by local priorities. Programs are rated by the organization that manages the system, the broadcaster, or the content producers.
A rating is usually set for each individual episode of a television series. The rating can change per episode, network, rerun, and country. As such, program ratings are usually not meaningful unless when and where the rating is used is mentioned.
A comparison of current television content rating systems, showing age on the horizontal axis. Note however that the specific criteria used in assigning a classification can vary widely from one country to another. Thus a color code or age range cannot be directly compared from one country to another.
- – No restrictions: Suitable for all ages / Aimed at young audiences / Exempt / Not rated / No applicable rating.
- – No restrictions: Parental guidance is suggested for designated age range.
- – No restrictions: Not recommended for a younger audience but not restricted.
- – Restricted: Parental accompaniment required for younger audiences.
- – Prohibitive: Exclusively for older audience / Restricted to a specific audience / Purchase age-restricted / Banned.
|Algeria||All audiences||-10||-12||-16||N/A||-10, -12: May air only from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am|
|Argentina||ATP||+13||+16||+18||N/A||+13, +16, +18: May air only from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am|
|Australia||M||M: May air only from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm (except ABC Me) and from 7:30 pm (8:30 pm for ABC Me) to 5:00 am |
MA15+: May air only from 8:30 pm (9:00 pm for ABC Me) to 5:00 am
|G||PG||14+||18+||14+: Cannot be broadcast from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm |
18+: May air only from 9:00 pm to 5:30 am
(16 and 18 ratings in Quebec follow similar protocols)
|Chile||F||R||A||N/A||A: May air only from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am|
|Colombia||Adultos||N/A||Adultos: May air only from 9:30 pm to 7:00 am; a message must be broadcast at 10:00 pm explaining that the adult fringe has started|
|Croatia||Unrated||12||15||18||N/A||15: May only air from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am|
18: May only air from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am
|Ecuador||A||B||C||N/A||C: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am|
|El Salvador||A||B||C||D||E||N/A||E: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am|
|Finland||S||K7||K12||K16||K18||N/A||K7: Cannot be broadcast before 7:00 am |
K12: Cannot be broadcast before 5:00 pm
K16: Cannot be broadcast before 9:00 pm
K18: May air only from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am
|France||Pas de notes||10||12||16||18||N/A||12: May air only from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am |
16: May air only from 10:30 pm to 5:00 am
18: May air only from 12:00 am to 5:00 am
|Germany||Unrated||16||18||N/A||16: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am |
18: May air only from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am
|Greece &||8||12||16||18||N/A||8: May air only 30 minutes after the kid-friendly zone |
12: May air only from 9:30 pm to 6:00 am or from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am on weekends and school holidays
16: May air only from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am
18: May air only from 01:00 am to 6:00 am
|Hong Kong||Unrated||M||N/A||PG: Cannot be broadcast from 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm daily |
M: May air only from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am
|Hungary||Unrated||6||12||16||18||N/A||16: May air only from 09:00 PM to 05:00 AM |
18: May air only from 10:00 PM to 05:00 AM
|India||U||UA||A||A: May air only from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am|
|Indonesia||N/A||SU||A–BO||R–BO||D||N/A||D: May air only from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am|
|Lithuania||Unrated||N-7||N-14||S||N/A||N-14: May air from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.|
S: May air from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
|Malaysia||U||P13||18||N/A||18: May only air from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am|
|Mexico||A||B||B-15||C||N/A||B: Cannot air between 6:00 a.m. and 3:59 p.m. |
B-15: May air only from 7:00 pm to 5:59 am
C: May air only from 9:00 pm to 5:59 am
D: May air only from 12:00 am to 5:00 am
|Morocco||All audiences||-10||-12||-16||N/A||-10, -12: Cannot be broadcast between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm (may be broadcast between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm) on weekdays; cannot be broadcast between 2:00 pm and 12:00 am on weekends and holidays |
-16: May air only from 10:30 pm to 12:00 am
|Netherlands||AL||6||9||12||14||16||18||N/A||12/14/16: May air only from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am |
18: May air only from midnight to 6:00 am
|New Zealand||G||M||18||N/A||18: May air only from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am|
|Norway||All ages||6||9||12||15||18||N/A||12: May air only from 7:00 pm to 5:30 am |
15, 18: May air only from 9:00 pm to 5:30 am
|Peru||14||18||N/A||18: May only air from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am|
|Poland||7||12||16||N/A||16: May air only from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am |
18: May air only from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am
|Portugal||AP 10||AP 12||16||N/A||16: May air only from 10:30 pm to 6:00 am|
|Russia||0+||6+||12+||16+||18+||N/A||18+: May air only from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am on free-to-air services|
|Singapore||G||PG13||N/A||PG13: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am on free-to-air services |
M18: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
|Slovakia||Unrated||7||12||15||18||N/A||15: May air only from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am |
18: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
|South Africa||Family||PG||13||16||18||N/A||16: May air only from 9:00 pm to 4:30 am |
18: May air only from 10:00 pm to 4:30 am
|South Korea||ALL||7||7||12||15||19||Exempt||19: May air only from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am; can also air from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on weekdays|
|Spain||7||12||16||18||N/A||18: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am|
|Thailand||General||PG 13||PG 18||N/A||PG 13:May air only from 8:30 pm to 5:00 am |
PG 18: May air only from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am
Adults: May air only from 12:00 am to 5:00 am
|Turkey||7+||13+||18+||Exempt||13+: May air only from 9:30 pm to 5:00 am |
18+: May air only from 12:00 am to 5:00 am
|Ukraine||Unrated||12+||16+||18+||N/A||18+: May air only from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am|
|United States||TV-G ()||TV-14||TV-MA||N/A||E/I: Cannot be aired between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.|
TV-MA: May air only from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
(all regulations apply to over-the-air broadcast networks only)
|( )||( )|
|Venezuela||Todo usuario||Adulto||N/A||Supervisado: May air only from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am |
Adulto: May air only from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am
- Apto para todo público (ATP) (English: suitable for all audiences) – programs may contain mild violence, language and mature situations;
- Apto para mayores de 13 años (SAM 13) (English: suitable for ages 13 and up) – programs may contain mild to moderate language and mild violence and sexual references;
- Apto para mayores de 16 años (SAM 16) (English: suitable for ages 16 and up) – programs may contain more intensive violence and coarse language, partial nudity and moderate sexual references;
- Apto para mayores de 18 años (SAM 18) (English: suitable for ages 18 and up) – programs contain graphic violence, coarse language and strong sexual references.
Starting from September 2010, it is compulsory for broadcasters to show the plaque Comienza el horario apto para todo público (English: Start time of suitable for all age schedule) and Finaliza el horario apto para todo público (English: End time of suitable for all age schedule) at 6:00 a.m. or 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. respectively. In addition, the plaque Atención: Contenido no apto para niños, niñas y adolescentes (English: Warning: Content not suitable for children and adolescents) is shown before news broadcasts.
- Y – suitable for ages 0–7;
- Y7 – suitable for ages 7–16;
- GA – suitable for general audiences;
- TW – suitable for children ages 9 and up;
- T – suitable for children ages 12 and up;
- A – suitable only for adults ages 18 and up.
- EC – suitable for ages 2 and up;
- E – suitable for ages 5 and up;
- E9 – suitable for ages 9 and up;
- T – suitable for ages 12 and up;
- M – suitable for ages 16 and up;
- AO – suitable for ages 17 and up.
Commercial television networks in Australia are required to comply with the Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice, which is governed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority with Free TV Australia mediating between the networks and the ACMA, as well as handling viewer complaints.
Classifications for each program broadcast on TV, are decided upon by trained classification officers at each network.
If viewers believe a network has breached the TV Code of Practice (an incorrect classification have been given, for example), viewers can submit a complaint to Free TV Australia, who then submit that complaint to the network. If viewers are dissatisfied with the result, they may then refer their complaint to the ACMA for an investigation.
These time zones are further governed by the Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice, 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. Until 2020, commercial free-to-air stations were obligated to broadcast a set number of hours of content per year. These quotas were removed in October 2020, leaving broadcasters with no requirement to air programs specifically aimed at children.
|C||Children||Programs deemed to specifically meet the educational needs and interests of children of school age who are 14 years or younger. C-rated content must be broadcast between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. or between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m on weekdays or 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekends and school holidays. Each 30 minute broadcast of a C-classified program may not contain more than six minute and 30 seconds of appropriate advertising. Programs and advertisements must not carry endorsements for commercial products.|
|P||Preschoolers||Programs deemed to specifically meet the educational needs and interests of preschool children who have not yet started school. P-rated content must be broadcast between 7 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. P-classified programs must be broadcast without any advertisements. No prizes may be awarded or given, and programs and advertisements must not carry endorsements for commercial products.|
Classifications are intended to be equivalent to the Australian Classification Board (ACB) classifications of the same name. They're usually presented with the same shape and sometimes colour as their ACB counterparts.
From December 2015, the ACMA introduced sweeping changes to the ratings system for commercial networks. Among them were allowing M and MA15+ programs to air an hour earlier then they were previously allowed, from 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm respectively, PG programs can air all day, dissolving the AV15+ classification, as well as changes to when adverts with higher classifications program can air.
Networks are still[when?] getting used to these changes and it will be a gradual change, with many programs already classified and scheduled on stations weeks ahead, in accordance with the old code. The Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten are continuing this trend.
|G||General||General exhibition, suitable for all ages but not necessarily intended for children. Content is VERY MILD in impact. G content may air at any time of day.|
|PG||Parental Guidance Recommended||Parental guidance is recommended for young viewers. Content is MILD in impact; Elements in these programs may require parental supervision for young children. PG content may air at any time of the day.|
|M||Mature||Recommended for viewing by persons aged 15 years or over. Content is MODERATE in impact; These programs may require a mature perspective and are deemed not suitable for all children. M content may only be broadcast between 7:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on any day, and additionally between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on schooldays.|
|MA15+||Mature Accompanied||Not suitable for people under 15. Content is STRONG in impact; It is advised people under the age of 15 do not view these programs, due to the strength of the elements within. MA15+ programming may only be broadcast between 8:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on any given day. Consumer advice is mandatory.|
|AV15+||Mature Accompanied (Adult Violence) No longer used||Not suitable for people under 15. Violence is STRONG in impact; this classification was the same as MA15+, except the "AV" stands for "Adult Violence". This category was used specifically for extremely violent programming. The AV classification was only allowed to exceed MA15+ content on the basis of violence, where MA15+ material could contain "some violence". AV15+ material could carry advisory warnings for "frequent violence" or "strong violence". AV15+ content may only be broadcast between 9:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. on any day. Consumer advice is mandatory.
The AV15+ classification was abolished after 30 November 2015. Strong impact violence is now incorporated into the MA15+ classification.
Adult "Pay Per View" only
|R18+||Restricted R18+||Not for anyone under 18; this is limited to Adult "Pay Per View" VC 196 and 197, access to these programs is locked by a personal password. Content may include prolonged scenes of intense violence, sexual situations, coarse language and strong drug use.|
|X18+||Restricted X18+||Contains material that is pornographic in nature. No one under 18 may legally rent, buy, possess, exhibit, hire, or view these films. The exhibition or sale of these films to people under the age of 18 years is a criminal offence carrying a maximum fine of $5,500.|
|E||Exempt||Exempt from classification; Only very specific types of material can be exempt from classification and the material cannot contain anything that exceeds the constraints of the PG classification. These include News & Current Affairs, sports broadcasting, education videos and certain documentaries. Many complaints have been handled before, however, regarding LIVE broadcasts.|
R18+ and X18+ restricted classifications are not permitted for free-to-air broadcast in Australia.
Many R18+ movies on DVD/Blu-ray are often edited on Free TV/cable networks, to secure an MA15+ classification or lower. Some movies that were classified R18+ on DVD have since been aired on Australian TV with an MA15+ classification.
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 p.m., instead of 9:00 p.m.. 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 no 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 one-off programs. As well as very short series classified M or higher (such as feature films, miniseries and documentaries). Commercial networks have been providing consumer advice to all PG and M programs anyway. As of 8 February 2019, the Nine Network, the Seven Network, Network 10 and SBS along with regional networks Prime7, GWN7, WIN Television, NBN Television no longer uses full-screen and voiced-over boards, prior to the beginning of a program. Instead opting for a small text box in the bottom right-hand corner (Nine) and top left-hand corner (SBS, WIN, GWN7, Prime7, Seven & 10), while ABC and Foxtel continue to use full-screen and voiced-over boards before the start of a program.
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 & strength and/or frequency of any classifiable element. In addition when 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 – used for programs with adult themes or medical procedures.
- V – used for programs depicting violence;
- L – used for programs coarse language;
- S – used for programs depicting simulated sex scenes and/or references;
- H – used for programs containing horror or supernatural themes;
- D – used for programs with drug references and/or use;
- N – used for programs containing nudity;
For violence, coarse language and sex scenes, the intensity and/or frequency is mentioned in front of the consumer advice. These include: "mild", "stylised", "some", "frequent" or "strong". Example: "strong sex scenes".
A television content rating system in Brazil was implemented following a consultation in 2006. Since then, the television networks themselves rate the shows, while the advisory rating (Portuguese: Classificação Indicativa) judges the content to guarantee that the rating is appropriate for that specific show. On broadcast networks, where the system is mandatory, the ratings are also translated in 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.
All rating is advisory unlike films. The Brazilian content rating system utilizes age-specific classifications (with the exception of L-rated programming), and consist of the following:
- Livre para todos os públicos – Content is suitable for all audiences
- Não recomendado para menores de 10 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 10.
- Não recomendado para menores de 12 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 12.
- Não recomendado para menores de 14 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 14.
- Não recomendado para menores de 16 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 16.
- Não recomendado para menores de 18 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 18.
The Canadian TV Classification System was created in late 1997 for English-language programs to use in conjunction with the V-chip (by this point, Canadian viewers were used to seeing ratings attached to American programming delivered via cable and over-the-air reception). The upper-right corner of symbols are shaped like the corner of a maple leaf, as is used in the national flag. The icons are 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 icons are displayed in the 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, although it still uses such warnings) 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 p.m.). 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 restrictive than movie ratings.
The Canadian rating system is as follows:
- Exempt – Shows which are exempt from ratings (such as news and sports programming) will not display an on-screen rating at all.
- C – Programming is intended for younger children under the age of 8 years. No profanity or sexual content of any level allowed. Might contain occasional comedic, unrealistic depictions of violence.
- C8 – Suitable for children ages 8+. 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. Programming suitable for the entire family with mild violence, and mild profanity and/or censored language.
- PG – Parental guidance. Moderate violence and moderate language is allowed, as is brief nudity and sexual references if important to the context of the story. Some content may not be suitable for children under the age of 8 and parental supervision is recommended for children aged 8–13.
- 14+ – Programming intended for viewers ages 14 and older. May contain strong violence and strong language, and depictions of sexual activity as long as they are within the context of a story. Parents are strongly cautioned to exercise discretion in permitting viewing by pre-teens and early teens without parent/guardian supervision.
- 18+ – Programming intended for viewers ages 18 and older. May contain explicit violence, extreme language, and sexual activity. Programming with this rating cannot air before the watershed (9:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.).
- G:Général (general) – appropriate for all ages and must contain little or no violence and little to no sexual content.
- 8+ ans – appropriate for children 8 and up may contain with little violence, language, and little to no sexual situations;
- 13+ ans – suitable for children 13 and up and may contain with moderate violence, language, and some sexual situations;
- 16+ ans – recommended for children over the age of 16 and may contain with strong violence, strong language, and strong sexual content;
- 18+ ans – recommended to be viewed by adults and may contain extreme violence and graphic sexual content. It is mostly used for 18+ movies and pornography.
- An E rating (no rating will appear on screen) is given to exempt programming, in the same classes used for English Canadian programming above.
Television Classification System (Cambodia)
- I Infantil (English: for children) – programs suitable for all children;
- I7 Infantil para mayores de 7 años – programs recommended for children ages 7 or older;
- I10 Infantil para mayores de 10 años – programs recommended for children ages 10 or older;
- I12 Infantil para mayores de 12 años – programs recommended for children and teens ages 12 or older.
- F Familiar (family) – programs suitable for a general audience, with content appropriate for all ages;
- R Responsabilidad compartida (shared responsibility) – programs may have content not suitable for children under 12 not accompanied by an adult;
- A Adulto (adult) – programs suitable for adult audiences only (ages 18 or older), may contain coarse language, and sexual or explicit situations (used after 10 p.m. local time), access to these programs is locked by a personal password.
Since 1997, Colombian television networks are required to specify programs within dubbed family and adult fringes, and must display a notice signifying the audience, both visually and in narration, the minimum age required to watch the program, if it contains sexual or violent content, and if parental company is needed at the beginning of every program. The networks must also air an 'institutional message' daily at 21:00, inviting children 12 years of age or less to "not to stay exposed to contents which have no essentially child[-oriented] nature." A message must be broadcast at 22:10, Monday through Friday, (22:30 Saturdays and Sundays) explaining to viewers that the adult fringe has started. Most networks opt to display a scrolling text message instead.
The ratings are as follows:
- Para todas las audiencias (content suitable for all audiences) – daily, from the hours of 07:00–21:30;
- Infantil (children) – Monday through Friday from 16:00–17:00, and Saturdays and Sundays from 08:00–10:00;
- Familiar (family) – Monday to Friday from 07:00–16:00 and 17:00–22:10, and Saturdays and Sundays 07:00–08:00 and 10:00–22:30, respectively.
- Adultos (adult audiences) – Programming dubbed with this classification run through the remaining time slots not specified by the Infantil and Familiar fringes.
In Croatia, television networks show the rating during the broadcast. The Hrvatska Radiotelevizija (Croatian Radiotelevision) channels, RTL Televizija, RTL 2, Nova TV and Doma TV all display warnings before a broadcast not meant for a general audience. Broadcasts meant for all audiences do not have a rating. With that in mind, the rating system is the following:
- 12 - Content suitable for children of 12 years of age or older.
- 15 - Content suitable for teens of 15 years of age or older.
- 18 - Content suitable for adults of 18 years of age or older.
Article 65 of the Communications Law of Ecuador presents the following classification:
- A: Apto para todo público (Suitable for all age groups). It can be transmitted at any time, especially in the "FAMILIAR" (FAMILY), from 6:00 to 18:00.
- B: Apto para todo público, con vigilancia de una persona adulta (Suitable for all age groups, with supervision of an adult). Under 12 needs an adult. It can be transmitted at any time, especially in "RESPONSABILIDAD COMPARTIDA" (SHARED RESPONSIBILITY), from 18:00 to 22:00; but not during FAMILIAR.
- C: Apto solo para personas adultas (Suitable only for adults). It can be transmitted only during the hours of "ADULTOS" (ADULT), from 22:00 to 6:00.
The classification to which belongs each program will be arranged by the Consejo de Regulación y Desarrollo de la Información y Comunicación (Regulatory and Development Council of Information and Communication) depending on the parameters which are considered relevant.
The Dirección de Espectáculos Públicos, Radio y Televisión (Direction of Public Shows, Radio and Television), entity attached to the Ministerio de Gobernación y Desarrollo Territorial (Ministry of Interior and Territorial Development), regulates the contents exhibited in Salvadoran television.
- A: Apto para todo público (Suitable for all age groups). It can be transmitted at any time.
- B: Apto para mayores de 12 años (Suitable for over 12 years). It can be transmitted at any time.
- C: Apto para mayores de 15 años (Suitable for over 15 years). It can be transmitted at any time.
- D: Apto para mayores de 18 años (Suitable for over 18 years). It can be transmitted at any time.
- E: Apto para mayores de 21 años (Suitable for over 21 years). It can be transmitted from 22:00 to 5:00.
A content rating system was introduced for Finnish television broadcasts in 2004. The initial ratings system for television programs shown on Finnish television channels consists of the following:
- S – allowed at all times;
- K7 – not allowed air before 7:00 a.m., not recommended for children under 7;
- K12 – not allowed air before 5:00 p.m., not recommended for children under 12;
- K16 – not allowed air before 9:00 p.m., not recommended for children under 16;
- K18 – not allowed air before 11:00 p.m., not recommended for children under 18.
If a program is classified as 'K16' or 'K18', a notification must be shown before broadcast.
A content rating system in French is regulated by the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA). Each rating icon is translucent and, as of November 2012, is shown for the whole duration of the show.
- If no rating appears, it is most likely appropriate for all ages.
- Déconseillé aux moins de 10 ans (English: not recommended for children under 10) – not allowed in children's television series;
- Déconseillé aux moins de 12 ans (English: not recommended for children under 12) – not allowed air before 10:00 p.m. (some channels and programs are subject to exception);
- Déconseillé aux moins de 16 ans (English: not recommended for children under 16) – not allowed air before 10:30 p.m. (some channels and programs are subject to exception);
- Déconseillé aux moins de 18 ans (English: not recommended for persons under 18) – allowed only between midnight and 5 a.m.
There initially was no ratings system for French television. In March 1961, following the broadcast of a film where a female nude was briefly visible, the "white square" was introduced. A white square, replaced by a white rectangle in 1964, was displayed in the corner of the screen. An off-screen voice warned at the beginning of the program that it was unsuitable for all audiences. This system continued until 1996 when the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel replaced it with a system of five pictograms, indicating the suitability of the program. This system was replaced by the current system on 18 November 2002.
In Germany every broadcaster has to show a disclaimer displaying the sentence Die nachfolgende Sendung ist für Zuschauer unter 16/18 Jahren nicht geeignet before transmission if the program contains potentially offensive content. This roughly translates to The following program is not suitable for viewers under 16/18. The Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (FSF) checks many shows in private television.
Greece & Cyprus
A new content rating system in Greece & Cyprus was introduced on 30 September 2019. The system is now associated with the age of viewers and has new visual symbols (replacing rhombus, circle, triangle, square and cross symbols), however, there are no mature-accompanied ratings compared to the previous system. The ratings are compulsory and are displayed and verbally announced at the beginning of each broadcast. These provisions are enforced by the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (ESR).
- – suitable for all ages
- – suitable for ages 8 and up (allowed only 30 minutes after the kid-friendly zone)
- – suitable for ages 12 and up (allowed only between 9:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., or between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. during Fridays, Saturdays and school holidays)
- – suitable for ages 16 and up (allowed only between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.)
- – suitable for ages 18 and up (allowed only between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.)
Also, programs suitable for ages 12 and up will be accompanied by a special word marker identifying their content, which is divided into the following four categories:
- ΒΙΑ (English: VIOLENCE): The program contains scenes of violence.
- ΣΕΞ (English: SEX): The program contains sex scenes.
- ΧΡΗΣΗ ΟΥΣΙΩΝ (English: USE OF SUBSTANCES): The program contains scenes of drug use and other addictive substances.
- ΑΚΑΤΑΛΛΗΛΗ ΦΡΑΣΕΟΛΟΓΙΑ (English: INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE): The program contains inappropriate language.
The Hong Kong television rating system is since by generic code of television programs standard of the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap.562) on 11 December 1995. The current ratings are:
- If no rating appears, it is for general audiences.
- PG (parental guidance recommended) – programs are unsuitable for children, parental guidance is recommended; programs that are classified as 'PG' should not be broadcast between 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. every day, as this is a watershed devised for family viewing.
- M (mature) – programs are recommended for adult viewers above the age of 18, only allowed to be shown between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
The Hungarian content rating system has changed frequently. The ratings of the programs broadcast often caused legal interferences, since the radio and television authorities have stricter guidelines about age appropriate rating categories for programs. If a program is not marked with the television authority's choice of rating symbol, the airing channel often has to pay large penalties to Hungarian authorities. Broadcasters licensed in another country may have a different rating system than the one used in Hungary, or have no ratings. For example, Discovery Communications' channels used Dutch ratings, TV2's sister channels, DIGI's self-packaged educational channels, and before 2015, RTL Klub's sister channels have all used the Romanian ratings, while Viacom's Hungarian TV channels(such as Comedy Central, Comedy Central Family, and the Paramount Network) had no ratings although before airing a show not suitable for children, a channel will show a full-screen voiced-over slide and have a star-like icon in the top-right corner for a whole duration of a show. AMC's channels do the similar thing as Viacom did. International broadcasters also don't have ratings.
The earliest symbolic classification system was first used by the now-defunct TV channel, Msat in the late 90s. These ratings is applicable only for films shown on TV. After Msat was shut down, commercial broadcaster TV2 have used that system while the public broadcaster MTV and commercial broadcaster RTL Klub(in addition to TV2's system) had used full-screen voiced-over slides before films, similar in function to the system used by TV2. These symbols are shown for a minute after a film had started, although in TV2, these symbols had also shown for a few seconds before the film begins.
The earliest classification symbols are:
- ●(RTL Klub only) - films is recommended for children with the parental guidance.
- ▲(for both RTL Klub and TV2) - films not recommended for children below the age of 14.
- ■(for RTL Klub) or ●(for TV2) - the film is suitable only for adult viewers (for ages 18 and up).
In 2002, a new rating system was devised, replacing the symbolic system. Ranking programs and displaying the rating symbols became compulsory on every Hungarian television network. The new rating system caused trouble within these networks because the channels were required to display the ranking symbols during the entire duration of their programs. The symbols were distracting to viewers, and networks 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 system used between 2002 and 2010, there are four rating categories:
- Unrated – programs can be viewed by any age, also used for content exempt from classification
- 12 – programs recommended for children below the age of 12 with parental guidance, may contain light sexual content or explicit language. Most films without serious violence or sexual content fit into this category as well. It can air at any time
- 16 – programs not recommended for teens and children below the age of 16, may contain more intensive violence and sexual content. May only air from 9 PM to 6 AM.
- 18 – the program is recommended for adult viewers (for ages 18 and up), may contain explicit violence and explicit sexual content. May only air from 10 PM to 5 AM.
The rating system was overhauled in 2010 by introducing the new classifications: the 6 rating and the optional GY rating, changing the 12 classification and renewing the looks of the symbols themselves.
In the current system, there are five rating categories:
- Unrated – programs can be viewed by any age, also used for content exempt from classification
- children friendly – programs recommended for children. It is an optional rating, there is no obligation for broadcasters to indicate it. May not air between two programs with higher classifications, for example, between two programs rated 6+ or rated 12+. The green boy's face is used for that rating.
- 6 – programs not recommended for children below the age of 6, may not contain any violence or sexual content. May not air between two programs with higher classifications. A yellow circle with the number 6 written inside is used for this rating;
- 12 – programs not recommended for children below the age of 12, may contain light sexual content or explicit language. Most films without serious violence or sexual content fit into this category as well. May not air between two programs with lower classifications, for example, two programs rated 6+ or without ratings. A yellow circle with the number 12 written inside is used for this rating;
- 16 – programs not recommended for teens and children below the age of 16, may contain more intensive violence and sexual content. May only air from 9 PM to 6 AM. A yellow circle with the number 16 written inside is used for this rating;
- 18 – the program is recommended for adult viewers (for ages 18 and up), may contain explicit violence and explicit sexual content. May only air from 10 PM to 5 AM. A red circle with the number 18 written inside is used for this rating.
Similar 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.
In February 2013, in the wake of controversy over suspension of exhibition of the film Vishwaroopam, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting constituted a panel under the Chairmanship of Justice (Retd.) Mukul Mudgal to examine issues of film certification under the Cinematograph Act 1952. One of the terms of reference for the committee is to examine "the requirement of special categories of certification for the purposes of broadcasting on television channels and radio stations." But, the committee had not made any recommendations on this important matter.
The current classifications of films in India are as follows:
- अ / U – unrestricted public exhibition;
- अ/व / U/A – unrestricted public exhibition, but with a caution regarding parental guidance to those under 12 years of age;
- व / A – public exhibition restricted to adults 18 years of age and older only;
- S – public exhibition restricted to members of a profession or a class of persons (e.g. doctors etc.)—very rare.
- SU - Semua Umur (English: all ages) – suitable for general audiences over the age of 2 years;
- P - Prasekolah (English: pre-school) – suitable for pre-school children from ages 2 through 6;
- A - Anak (English: children) – suitable for children from ages 7 through 12;
- R - Remaja (English: teenager) – suitable for teens from ages 13 through 17;
- BO - Bimbingan Orangtua (English: parental control/guidance) – suitable for children or teens with parental control, but this classification does not stand alone and accompanied the P, A and R ratings, become:
- P-BO – suitable for pre-school children from ages 2 through 6 with guidance of parents
- A-BO – suitable for children from ages 7 through 12 with guidance of parents
- R-BO – suitable for teens from ages 13 through 17 with guidance of parents;
- D - Dewasa (English: mature) – suitable for viewers over 18 and older. Programs with this rating are aired from 10.00 PM to 03.00 AM.
- G: General Audiences. Anyone, regardless of age, can watch the program.
- 12+: Suitable for children 12 and over only.
- 15+: Suitable for teens 15 and over only.
- 18+: Suitable for adults 18 and over only.
- E: Exempt from classification. This rating is usually applied to live broadcasts.
In Italy the classification system changes according to the television station that broadcasts the program. The first group to introduce the TV rating system was Mediaset in 1994, initially only on Canale 5. Italia 1 and Rete 4 adopted the rating system in 1997, while the thematic channels adopted it in 2009. Given the simplicity of the classification system, inspired by traffic lights, the other broadcasters also followed the example of Mediaset. The ratings adopted by Mediaset are the following:
- Green label – All ages admitted.
- Yellow label – Parental guidance suggested.
- Red label – Only for adults.
Almost always, the Mediaset programs with a permanent red label can be blocked by activating the locking device of the television set, commonly referred to as "Parental control".
RAI introduced the TV rating system in October 2000, with its logo flashing red, indicating the programs suitable only for adults. At the end of 2007 the logo of the network takes on a color according to the target: red if the program is suitable only for adults and yellow if the parental guidance is suggested for the vision of the program by the children. From 18 May 2010 the rating is represented by a colored line (red or yellow) below the logo of the network.
The classifications used by Sky Italia are instead the following:
- T – All ages admitted.
- BA – Parental guidance suggested.
- VM12 – No admittance for children under 12.
- VM14 – No admittance for children under 14.
- VM18 – No admittance for children under 18.
It is also possible on Sky Italia to use the Parental Control to block the viewing of programs based on their classification.
All television stations show the rating during the broadcast in Lithuania.
Broadcasts meant for all audiences do not have a rating.
With that in mind, the rating system is the following:
- N-7 - Content suitable for children of 7 years of age or older.
- N-14 - Content suitable for teens of 14 years of age or older.
- S - Content suitable for adults of 18 years of age or older.
In Malaysia, a television rating system was revised in January 2012. Ratings are shown before the program starts.
The classifications are as follows:
- U (Malay: umum) – No age limit. Can be broadcast anytime.
- P13 - Viewers under 13 years of age need parental/guardian supervision while viewing. Can be broadcast anytime, but some elements may only be broadcast at night.
- 18 – For viewers 18 and above. Cannot be broadcast before 10:00 PM.
The classification system of television programs in Mexico is almost equivalent to that of the movie rating system of the country, and consists of the following:
- AA – appropriate for all ages, mostly for children (can be broadcast anytime);
- A – appropriate for all ages (some profanity, sexual references, violence or crude humor);
- B – designed for ages 12 and older, may contain some sexual situations, mild violence, and mild language (allowed only between 16:00 and 05:59);
- B-15 – designed for ages 15 and up, slightly more intensive than the 'A' and 'B' ratings (allowed only between 19:00 and 05:59);
- C – designed to be viewed by adults aged 18 or older, generally more intensive content (allowed only between 21:00 and 05:59);
- D – designed to be viewed only by adults aged 18 or older, contains extreme content matter (allowed only between midnight and 05:00);
The classification system of television programs in Morocco is established by the HACA. There are 4 categories. Before the airing of the program, an off-screen voice warned at the beginning of the program that it was unsuitable for all audiences.
|1||No symbol||All audiences||No restriction|
|2||-10||Not recommended for under 10||Prohibited broadcast from 12.00 to 14.00 and between 17h and 19h from Monday to Friday, until 14h on Saturday and Sunday|
|3||-12||Not recommended for under 12||Prohibited broadcast from 12.00 to 14.00 and between 17h and 19h from Monday to Friday, until 14h on Saturday and Sunday|
|4||-16||Not recommended for under 16||No broadcast daily before 22:30|
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 (Programs with the classification 12, 14 and 16 years may only be broadcast from 8pm and with the classification 18 years from midnight. Cinemas and theaters in the country cannot provide films with the classification 16 years to people under the age of 16). They are the same as Dutch film ratings.
The following age ratings apply:
- AL – All Ages (Alle leeftijden)
- 6 – Watch out with children under 6 (Let op met kinderen tot 6 jaar)
- 9 – Watch out with children under 9 (Let op met kinderen tot 9 jaar)
- 12 – Watch out with children under 12 (Let op met kinderen tot 12 jaar)
- 14 – Watch out with children under 14 (Let op met kinderen tot 14 jaar)
- 16 – Watch out with children under 16 (Let op met kinderen tot 16 jaar)
- 18 – Watch out with children under 18 (Let op met kinderen tot 18 jaar)
There are also six descriptor icons used:
- Violence (Geweld)
- Scary or Disturbing Content (Angst)
- Sexual Content (Seks)
- Discrimination (Discriminatie)
- Drug and/or Alcohol abuse (Drugs- en/of alcoholmisbruik)
- Bad Language (Grof taalgebruik)
- G: Approved for General viewing.
- PG: Parental Guidance recommended for young viewers.
- M: Suitable for Mature audiences 16 years and over.
- 16: People under 16 years should not view.
- 18: People under 18 years should not view.
On free to air television, programmes classified M can be broadcast between 9am and 3pm only on school days as designated by the Ministry of Education, as well as between 7:30pm and 5:00am the following morning. Programmes classified 16 can only be broadcast after the 8:30pm watershed, while programmes classified 18 can only be broadcast after 9:30pm.
On pay television where content filtering is not available; programmes classified 18 can only be broadcast between 8:00pm and 6:00am the following day, and between 9am and 3pm on school days. If content filtering is available, programmes classified 18 can be broadcast at any time. Explicit adult sex programmes classified 18 may screen only on premium channels.
The following descriptor codes may be added for programmes rated PG or higher:
- C: Content may offend
- L: Language may offend
- V: Contains violence
- S: Sexual content may offend
A television content rating system was introduced in Norway in July 2015. Television broadcasters are obliged to classify their programmes in the following age categories: A (all ages), 6 years, 9 years, 12 years, 15 years or 18 years. The classification must be based on the guidelines made by The Norwegian Media Authority. Programmes in the different age categories must be transmitted according to the following time schedule during the day:
- All ages, 6 and 9 years – allowed at all times
- 12 years – only allowed during the period 19.00 – 05.30
- 15 and 18 years – only allowed during the period 21.00 – 05.30
Television broadcasters shall specify the age limit acoustically before the programme starts or clearly mark the programme with an age limit throughout its duration. Television broadcasters shall also specify the age limit in programme schedules and electronic programme guides.
The age categories are also applicable to other platforms such as Video on demand-services, videogrammes (DVD, Blu-ray) and cinema theatres.
The age rating system in Peru was introduced in 2005 by the then-President Alejandro Toledo and came into force for both radio and television broadcasts. Currently, the only free-to-air channels advising their audiences about the rating system are ATV, NexTV and La Tele, since most channels adopted their own system since 2009, starting with América Televisión.
The ratings for television programs are available on some Peruvian channels. The rating system used in Peru is listed below.
In the Philippines, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, commonly known as MTRCB, implements and regulates local television content rating systems. In 1979, it only had implemented two television ratings: "General Viewership" (GV) later renamed (General Patronage/GP) in 1995 and "Parental Guidance" (PG), in the mid 90s till present, some advisories are simply written on the upper left side or at the lower right side of the television screen.
On 6 October 2011, in order to encourage parents to supervise and be responsible with their children in watching television, the MTRCB revamped its rating system, implementing a three-tiered system:
|Pictogram||Classification rating||English name||Filipino name||Description|
|G||General Patronage||Pangkalahatan at Pagtangkilik||Suitable for all audiences.|
|PG||Parental Guidance||Patnubay at Gabay||May contain scenes or other content that are unsuitable for children without the guidance of a parent.|
|SPG||Strong Parental Guidance||Striktong Patnubay at Gabay||Contains mature themes or moderate to intense violence, which may be deemed unfit for children to watch without strong and vigilant parental supervision.|
The new ratings was originally to have been a four-tiered system, composed of G (General Patronage), PG (Parental Guidance), SPG (Strong Parental Guidance), and M,[vague] but some time before the implementation of the new system, the "M" rating was dropped.
The new ratings system is similar to the old one, but the look and the ratings themselves was completely revamped. All of these were only been implemented on Free to-Air Television stations. The new system consists of a new full-screen advisory of the program's rating which is played before every program, whatever the rating of such program is, except in the case of programs with SPG rating, wherein the rating must be aired twice (before the start of the program and after each commercial break. e.g. in the middle part of the program). A rating logo then appears at the bottom right of the screen during a program if it was rated as such. Sometimes, when annotations are to be put and it takes the place of the logo, then it has to be put on the upper left side of the screen, opposite the logo of the TV station.
On 9 February 2012, the SPG rating was implemented, which utilizes at least one of the following content descriptors: T for tema (themes), L for lengguwahe (language), V or K for karahasan (violence), S for sekswal (sex), H for horror and D for droga (drugs). The rating was first broadcast on the film Cinco which was aired in ABS-CBN, where it had its old advisory.
Before 2000, Poland 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, TVN decided to mark the so-called "adult movies" with a pulsating red 18+ logo. On 1 March 2000, an agreement was reached with Polish television broadcasters as "Friendly media" in order to introduce a uniform system of classification of television programs. Nine television broadcasters - TVP, Polsat, TVN, Nasza TV, Canal+, Wizja TV, Polish Cable Television and TV Niepokalanow - had signed the agreement.
|Symbol||Name||Broadcast restriction||Possible contents|
|No age limit||None||Positive or neutral view of the world, little to no violence, non-sexual love, and no sexual content.|
|For minors from age 7||None||As above; may additionally contain some mild language, bloodless violence, and a more negative view of the world.|
|For minors from age 12||None||May contain some foul language, some violence, and some sexual content.|
|For minors from age 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 or by parents, teachers, etc.), immoral behavior without ethic dilemma, putting the blame on the victim, excessive concentration on material possessions.|
|Permitted from age of 18 only||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, access to these programs is locked by a personal password.|
For a long time, the only existing regulation on Portuguese television was that programs with potentially shocking or harmful content could air only between 10:30pm and 6am and with a red circular marker on the top-right corner of the screen indicating it was for audiences aged 16 and over.
In 2006, all free-to-air networks decided to complement this rule with a shared, more detailed rating system for TV shows:
- Todos (suitable for all)
- 10, Acompanhamento Parental (for spectators aged 10 or over; parental guidance required for children under 10)
- 12, Acompanhamento Parental (for spectators aged 12 or over; parental guidance required for children under 12)
- 16 (for spectators aged 16 or over; not suitable for children)
These logos must be shown during 10 seconds 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 Romanian content rating system has changed frequently. The ratings of the programs broadcast often caused legal interferences, since the radio and television authorities have stricter guidelines about age appropriate rating categories for programs. If a program is not marked with the television authority's choice of rating symbol, the airing channel often has to pay large penalties to Romanian authorities, except with 24h all-news channels, 24h advertising channels (teleshopping), pay television or pay-per-view channels (like Eurosport, HBO, etc.) and foreign broadcasting TV-channels (like TV5Monde, Deutsche Welle, arte, etc.) that are subjected to foreign audio-visual regulations from their country of origin.
It started with four classifications around 1999/2000:
- Unrated – programs can be viewed by any age.
- ● - programs is recommended with the parental guidance, may not contain any violence or sexual content.
- ▲ - programs not recommended for children below the age of 12.
- ■ - the program is recommended for adult viewers (for ages 18 and up), may contain explicit violence and explicit sexual content. May only air from 11 PM to 5 AM.
In 2002, a new rating system was devised. Ranking programs and displaying the rating symbols became compulsory on every Romanian television network. The new rating system caused trouble within these networks, because the channels were required to display the ranking symbols during the entire duration of their programs. The symbols were distracting to viewers, and networks 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 five rating categories:
- Unrated – programs can be viewed by any age (generally news TV-programmes, mostly 24h news channels, reportages and documentaries with some exceptions. Most offensive and sensitive contents are censored during newscasts, exceptions are made when they are broadcast live and therefore sanctioned by the CNA) ;
- AP – programs is recommended for children with the parental guidance, may not contain any violence or sexual content. A transparent circle with the font AP written inside is used for this rating;
- 12 – programs not recommended for children below the age of 12, may contain light sexual content or explicit language. Most films without serious violence or sexual content fit into this category as well. May only air from 8 PM to 6 AM. Yellow circle with the number 12 written inside is used for this rating;
- 15 – programs not recommended for teens and children below the age of 15, may contain more intensive violence and sexual content. May only air from 10 PM to 5 AM. A lime circle with the number 15 written inside is used for this rating (Until 2005 the classification was 16);
- 18 – the program is recommended for adult viewers (for ages 18 and up), may contain explicit violence and explicit sexual content. May only air from 11 PM to 5 AM. A red circle with the number 18 written inside is used for this rating (the red circle was also used until 2005, but it did not contain any number in it).
- 18-X - This program is X-rated only. For example, extreme horror and detailed erotic film. May only air from midnight to 4 AM.
The rating system for programs and films shown on Russian television:
- 0+ (Suitable for all ages)
- 6+ (May not be suitable for very young children)
- 12+ (Intended for viewers over the age of 12)
- 16+ (Intended for viewers over the age of 16)
- 18+ (Unsuitable for children, only for adults)
These logos are shown in the beginning of the program and after every break.
Singapore has adopted the use of TV Ratings from 21 October 2011. They consist of PG and PG13 ratings for Free-to-Air TV and NC16 and M18 ratings in addition to the PG and PG13 ratings for Pay TV channels. For Free-to-Air TV, the shows rated PG may be aired anytime while PG13 should air between 10pm to 6am. For Pay TV, PG13 rated programs can be shown anytime. Before the rated program starts the TV channels will show a notification. Currently, only StarHub TV's and Mio TV's self-packaged non-regional Pay TV channels ( e.g. StarHub TV's E City and Sensasi and Mio TV's FashionTV HD and FashionTV HD on Demand, both of which features modeling nudity in certain programs ) are enabled to carry NC16 and M18 rated content. FashionTV is also Singapore's first official M18 rated channel. M18 rated programs can only be telecasted from 10pm onwards to 6am on Pay TV. Regional channels like Fox Life, Fox Movies and HBO Asia are unable to carry Media Development Authority's film ratings as they are targeted at the same region (a certain group of Asia territories), which results in programs being subjected to external censorship of a much harsher nature outside Singapore territorial control. Only Video on Demand (VOD) Pay TV services are allowed to carry R21 content currently. G-rated programs are not required to show a notification for any channel.
Slovakian government accepted a law in 2001 (updated in 2007), in which television stations are required to display one of the following icons during all the program and in promos:
- 7 (a red circle with red number 7 on white background written inside) – Content suitable for children over 7 years
- 12 (a red circle with red number 12 on white background written inside) – Content suitable for children over 12 years
- 15 (a red circle with red number 15 on white background written inside) – Content suitable for teens over 15 years, this program may only be broadcast from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am
- 18 (a red circle with red number 18 on white background written inside) – Content exclusively for adults, this program may only be broadcast from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
- children's programming (a green Teddy bear's head) – Content created primarily for children up to 12 years
Additional icons used only for educational content:
- -7 (a green circle with green "-7" on white background written inside) – Educational content suitable for children up to 7 years
- 7+ (a green circle with green "7+" on white background written inside) – Educational content suitable for children over 7 years
- 12+ (a green circle with green "12+" on white background written inside) – Educational content suitable for children over 12 years
- 15+ (a green circle with green "15+" on white background written inside) – Educational content suitable for teens over 15 years, this program may only be broadcast from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am
For content suitable for all children, a green "U" icon is available, but broadcasters are not required to use it. Programming suitable for all ages doesn't show a rating at all.
Slovenian government accepted a law in 2004, in which television stations are required to play a warning before a program and display one of the following icons:
- VS (vodstvo staršev) – Parental guidance suggested (for children under 12)
- 12 + – Content suitable for children over 12 years
- 15 + – Content suitable for teens over 15 years
- 18 + – Content exclusively for adults
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 6 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.
- 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 pornography/child sexual abuse—due to being 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. Television programs with this rating may contain some violence and/or some mild language. No adult content is allowed.
- 7 (7세 이상 시청가, chil-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): Children under 7 are prohibited from watching this program/film. Children aged 7–8 may watch this program/film, but must be accompanied by an adult. Television programs with this rating can contain mild violence, mild language and few romance.
- 12 (12세 이상 시청가, sib-i-se i-sang si-cheong-ga): Children under 12 are prohibited from watching this program/film. Television programs with this rating may contain horror, some fantasy violence, some sexual content, little use of strong language, mild blood, and/or mild suggestive themes.
- 15 (15세 이상 시청가, sib-o-se i-sang si-cheong-ga): Children under 15 are prohibited from watching this program/film. TV shows with this rating may contain use of alcohol, more sexual content, mild violence or little strong violence, major blood or gore, and/or suggestive themes.
- 19 (19세 이상 시청가, sip-gu-se i-sang si-cheong-ga): Children under 19 are prohibited from watching this program/film. 19-rated programming is banned from airing during the hours of 7:00AM to 9:00AM, and 1:00PM to 10:00PM. (7:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Weekends and Public Holidays Only) Programs that receive this rating will almost certainly have adult themes, sexual situations, strong language and disturbing scenes of violence.
- 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 the Korea Communications Standards Commission recognizes. Disclaimer or rating icons are not needed.
Rating icons may be transparent, and can be positioned either on the upper-left or upper-right corner of the screen. The icon has a size of at least 1/20 of the screen, and has black writing on a yellow circle with a white outline. These icons are shown for 30 seconds when the program starts, and are shown again every 10 minutes, and when the program resumes after commercial breaks. This does not apply to 19-rated programs, where the icon must be visible throughout the entire program. These regulations do not apply to the "All" rating, as it does not have an icon. A rating disclaimer is displayed on the start of the program for five seconds explaining "This program is prohibited for children under the age of X, so parental accompaniment 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 suitable for all ages" (이 프로그램은 모든 연령의 시청자가 시청할 수 있는 프로그램입니다) and "This program is prohibited for children under the age of 19" (이 프로그램은 19세 미만의 청소년이 시청하기에 부적절한 프로그램입니다) respectively.
These ratings are used by all South Korean television broadcasters. Despite being intended for viewing outside of the country, KBS World also uses these ratings.
South Korean television ratings do not include content descriptors or advisories as they do in other nations. The ratings are therefore used in a broader sense.
- Infantil (Especialmente recomendada para la infancia). Specially recommended for younger children. Only some channels use this rating, and each has its design (Clan TVE use the words "ERI" (they formerly used a baby icon) inside a purple block and Canal Panda uses a small purple banner).
- TP (Todos los públicos). For general viewing.
- 7 or +7 : Not recommended for viewers under the age of 7. It is yellow in Televisió de Catalunya and formerly in Televisión Española.
- 10 or +10 : Not recommended for viewers under the age of 10. Only exists in Catalan television.
- 12 or +12 : Not recommended for viewers under the age of 12.
- 13 or +13 : Not recommended for viewers under the age of 13. It was formerly used in national channels but it is used today by some networks also. It is official in Catalonia.
- 16 or +16 : Not recommended for viewers under the age of 16.
- 18 or +18 : Not recommended for viewers under the age of 18. A warning tone can be heard when the program starts. These programs cannot be shown on free to air television before 10.00 p.m. and after 6.00 a.m.
Unrated programs do not display any icon on the screen; in Catalonia, TP-rated shows do not show any icon as well. Nowadays rating symbols are shown during all the program and in promos; each channel has its right to choose its design and where it has to be placed. The "Infantil" rating it's the exception, because it appears during the first five seconds. In Catalonia, only the 13, 16 and 18 ratings remain transparent in the screen, while the others (7, 10 and 12) are seen during the first 30 seconds.
Taiwanese rating system for television programs was introduced on 1 January 1999 with four symbols represented with four Chinese characters 普 for General, 護 for Protected, 輔 for Parental Guidance and 限 for Restricted, but changed on 13 June 2017 to unify the television age rating with Taiwan's video game and motion picture ratings, and there are five symbols,
- 0+ 普遍級 (General level) : suitable for watching by general audiences.
Television programs free of circumstances listed in the preceding four articles and suitable for watching by general audiences may be listed as G . The images of news reports shall conform to the provisions of "G" rate.
- 6+ 保護級 (Protected level) : not suitable for viewing by children under the age of six; children over six and under the age of twelve can view if accompanied by parents, teacher or an adult relative.
Television programs free of circumstances listed in the preceding three articles but portraying any one of the following circumstances shall be listed as P.
- The portrayal of fighting, larceny, terror, abnormal social phenomenon.
- The portrayal of sexual encounters or confused ethics and values.
- Other content that has a detrimental influence on the behavior or psychology wellbeing of children under the age of six.
- 12+ 輔12級 (Parental Guidance-12 level) : not suitable for viewing by children under the age of twelve, split from the former rating Parental Guidance.
Television programs free of circumstances listed in the preceding two articles but portraying any one of the following circumstances shall be listed as PG-12.
- Plots or dialogues that portray crime, violence, terror, blood, abnormality, strangeness or social deformity or other phenomenon, the portrayal of which is slight.
- Content that uses action, images, language, words, dialogue or audio to portray slight sexual expression or sexual implication.
- Other circumstances having detrimental influence on the behavior or psychology wellbeing children under the age of twelve.
- 15+ 輔15級 (Parental Guidance-15 level) : not suitable for viewing by people under the age of fifteen, split from the former rating Parental Guidance.
Television programs free of circumstances listed in Article 4 but portraying any one of the following circumstances shall be listed as PG-15.
- Plots or dialogues that portray crime, terror, blood, violence, abnormality, strangeness or social deformity or other phenomenon, the portrayal of which is not slight but do not cause a sadistic impression or excessive panic.
- Content that uses action, images, language, words, dialogue or audio to represent sexual expression or sexual implication.
- Other content that has a detrimental influence on the behavior or psychology wellbeing of people under the age of fifteen.
- 18+ 限制級 (Restricted level) : not suitable for viewing by people under the age of eighteen.
Television programs portraying any one of the following circumstances shall be listed as R and be broadcast by encryption.
- Detailed portrayal of gambling, use or trafficking of drugs, robbery, kidnap, murder or other criminal behaviors, and detailed portrayal of the process of suicide.
- Content that portrays terror, blood, atrocity, abnormality, etc., the portrayal of which is strong, but acceptable to people over the age of eighteen.
- Content that uses action, images, language, words, dialogue or audio to portray obscenity or strong sexual implication, but is acceptable to people over the age of eighteen.
Under the new guideline, the so-called 'Free TV' channels have to label their programs and reschedule their shows to comply in the following categories:
- Preschool (ป) - content suitable for preschool-aged children
- Children (ด) - content suitable for children between 6–12 years old
- General (ท) - content suitable for general audiences
- PG 13 (น๑๓) - content suitable for people aged 13 and above, but can be watched by those who are under the recommended age if parental guidance is provided. Under this category, the content can be shown on television between 8:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
- PG 18 (น๑๘) - content suitable for people aged above 18 years old; those who are younger than 18 must be provided with parental guidance. The programs can be shown on television between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
- Adults (ฉ) - content unsuitable for children and youngsters aged 19 or under, and can be viewed on TV only between 12:00 a.m. and 05:00 a.m.
TV programs in Thailand are already labeled by a certain system of categories, a practice criticised by rights group as nanny-state censorship and ridiculed by some Netizens for its confusing standards.
The TV content rating system in Turkey was introduced by RTÜK in 2006. The ratings are the following:
- Genel İzleyici – General audience. Suitable for all ages. Shown (family symbol) at the beginning of the program/movie and after every commercial break.
- – Suitable for ages 7 and over. Shown at the beginning of the program/movie and after every commercial break.
- – Suitable for ages 13 and over. Shown for the whole duration of the program/movie (may be translucent). May only be broadcast between 9:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
- – Suitable for ages 18 and over. Shown for the whole duration of the program/movie (may be translucent). May only be broadcast between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
There are also content informations which indicate violence/horror, sexuality and negative examples.
News programs, sports competitions, religious ceremonies and commercial communication broadcasts are exempt from the content rating system.
The Ukrainian TV content rating system was adopted on 15 September 2003. It started with three classifications (●, ▲, ■). On 6 May 2016, the classifications were replaced, and TV shows that do not have age restrictions are not rated. The new ratings are as follows:
- 12+: Program contains content that may require parental guidance for children under 12.
- 16+: Program contains content that may require parental guidance for children under 16.
- 18+: Program is only for viewers aged 18 and over. In it there are scenes containing nudity, drug use, or violence. These programs may only be broadcast late at night (10 p.m.–6 a.m.).
These designations must be displayed on the lower right corner of the television screen.
TV Parental Guidelines
The TV parental guidelines were first proposed on December 19, 1996, as a voluntary-participation system—in which ratings are determined by participating broadcast and cable networks—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 broadcast and cable networks in response to concerns from parents and advocacy groups regarding increasingly explicit sexual content, graphic violence and strong profanity in American television programming, and was designed to be used in conjunction with the V-chip, which the U.S. government had mandated to be built into all television sets manufactured from 2000 onward (and the vast majority of cable/satellite set-top boxes). The system—which is used for, including but not limited to, most television series, specials, made-for-television films, and theatrically released films re-edited for broadcast or basic cable telecast—has since been applied to internet-based television services (such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix), digital video retailers (such as Apple’s iTunes Store and Google Play) and digital media players (such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku). The guidelines are not assigned to sports or news programs nor are they used during commercial advertisements, outside of promotional ads for network programs.
The rating icons are required to be shown for 15 seconds at the start of each program, although since June 2005, many advertiser-supported network broadcasters and some syndication divisions also display the assigned rating for that particular program after each commercial break; for networks and syndicators that continue to run the rating icon once per hour during a program running longer than 60 minutes, the broadcaster may show the rating again during a segment/scene that starts closest to the top of the next clock hour. Premium channels—in addition to applying them to any offered original programming—may assign Parental Guideline ratings for theatrical or home video-released movies that either did not receive a Motion Picture Association-assigned rating or were aired as an "unrated" cut.
TV-Y – This program is aimed at a very young audience, including children from ages 2–6.
TV-Y7 – This program is designed for children age 7 and above.
- Some programs may be given the "FV" content descriptor if they exhibit more 'fantasy violence' that may be more intense or combative than other programs rated TV-Y7.
TV-G – Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. Programs rated TV-G are generally suitable for all ages. The FCC states that "this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children, most parents may let younger children watch this program unattended." The thematic elements portrayed in programs with this rating contain little or no violence, no strong language, and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.
TV-PG – Parental guidance is recommended; these programs may be unsuitable for younger children.
TV-14 – This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.
TV-MA – This program is intended to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.
Some thematic elements, according to the FCC, "may call for parental guidance and/or the program may contain one or more of the following" sub-ratings, designated with an alphabetic letter:
- D – Suggestive dialogue (rarely used with TV-MA-rated programs)
- L – Coarse language
- S – Sexual content
- V – Violence
- FV – Fantasy violence (exclusive to TV-Y7-rated programs)
Up to four content descriptors can be applied alongside an applied rating, depending on the kind of suggestive content featured in a program (with the exception of the "FV" sub-rating, due to its sole applicable use for children's programs). As the rating increases pertaining to the age, the content matters generally get more intensive. The 'suggestive dialogue' descriptor is used for TV-PG and TV-14 rated programs only, although certain networks may choose to rate their TV-MA programs with the descriptor, while the DLSV sub-ratings are only used with the TV-PG and TV-14 ratings.
An additional content descriptor, "E/I", is applied to select TV-Y, TV-Y7, and TV-G programs that are designed to meet the educational and informative needs of children aged 16 and under. A minimum of three hours of E/I-compliant programming must be broadcast per week by each television network; all E/I programming must air between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Content advisory ratings (premium cable and pay-per-view)
The American pay television industry uses a separate, unrelated content advisory system—used in conjunction with the TV Parental Guidelines and the Motion Picture Association rating system—that first went into effect on March 1, 1994, on participating cable-originated premium channels and pay-per-view services (led by the system's charter services, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and The Movie Channel). Inspired by similar content guidelines that had already been included in the services’ monthly program guides, the voluntary-participation system provides guidance to pay-cable subscribers on the suitability of a program for certain audiences based on its content. Thematic material is rated based on a ten-code system, designated with a two- or three-letter abbreviation and corresponding descriptor:
- AC – Adult Content
- AL – Adult Language
- GL – Graphic Language (exclusive to R/TV-MA-rated programs)
- MV – Mild Violence
- V – Violence
- GV – Graphic Violence
- BN – Brief Nudity
- N – Nudity
- SSC – Strong Sexual Content (exclusive to R/TV-MA-rated programs)
- RP – Rape
Up to five content descriptors can be applied, alongside the corresponding rating, to an individual program to advise viewers of content that may be inappropriate for minors, depending on age group, or for adults with particular sensitivities to certain kinds of mature content.
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. Free-to-air television broadcasters are required to classify their programs using the following ratings:
- Todo usuario – Suitable for all ages.
- Supervisado – Parental supervision recommended for children and teens. (only allowed between 7:00 p.m.–7:00 a.m.)
- Adulto – Suitable only for adults aged 18 or older. (only allowed between 11:00 p.m.–5:00 a.m.)
It is mandatory for all Venezuelan television station to broadcast a short presentation, before the broadcast of any programs, made by the same channel, where the type of program (recreational, informational, mixed, etc.), type of production (domestic or national independent) elements include containing (such as language, health, sex and/or violence) and lastly the rating of the program.
- Goehring, Jeannette (2007). Nations in Transit 2007: Democratization from Central Europe to Eurasia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-932088-26-0.
Although broadcast media remained dependent on private financing in 2006, advertising revenue is rising—encouraged by the introduction of a television rating system, first in Yerevan in January 2006 and then nationwide in June.
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