Television content rating systems
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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.
- 1 Use
- 1.1 Argentina
- 1.2 Armenia
- 1.3 Australia
- 1.4 Brazil
- 1.5 Canada
- 1.6 Chile
- 1.7 Colombia
- 1.8 Ecuador
- 1.9 Finland
- 1.10 France
- 1.11 Germany
- 1.12 Greece
- 1.13 Hong Kong
- 1.14 Hungary
- 1.15 India
- 1.16 Indonesia
- 1.17 Malaysia
- 1.18 Mexico
- 1.19 Netherlands
- 1.20 New Zealand
- 1.21 Peru
- 1.22 Philippines
- 1.23 Poland
- 1.24 Portugal
- 1.25 Russia
- 1.26 Singapore
- 1.27 Slovenia
- 1.28 South Africa
- 1.29 South Korea
- 1.30 Spain
- 1.31 Taiwan
- 1.32 Thailand
- 1.33 Turkey
- 1.34 Ukraine
- 1.35 United States
- 1.36 Venezuela
- 2 Countries without TV rating systems
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 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 2–7;
- Y7 – suitable for ages 7–16;
- GA – suitable for general audiences;
- TW – suitable for tweens ages 9 and up;
- T – suitable for teens 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 city,pliant to the network. If dissatisfied, you can then refer your 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.
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, on any network (as of 1 December 2015).|
|M||Mature||Recommended for mature audiences. Content is MODERATE in impact; These programs may require a mature perspective and are deemed not suitable for all children. Mature age may vary, though generally considered around 10. 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) FORMER CLASSIFICATION||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.
|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. People under 18 may not buy, rent, exhibit 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 complains 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 13 April 2016, the Nine Network, the Seven Network and Network Ten 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), bottom left hand corner (WIN & NBN) and top left-hand corner (GWN7, Prime7, Seven & Ten), while ABC, Foxtel and SBS 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.
- 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;
- MP – used for programs containing medical procedures;
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".
The implementation of a television content rating system in Brazil was made official for broadcasters in mid-2007, although it was already used for rating motion pictures, video games, and some television networks since 2006. Since then, the television networks themselves rate the shows, while the Department of Justice, Rating, Titles and Qualification (Portuguese: Departamento de Justiça, Classificação, Títulos e Qualificação) 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.
The Brazilian content rating system utilizes age-specific classifications (with the exception of L-rated programming), and consist of the following:
- L Livre para todos os públicos – Content is suitable for all audiences
- 10 Não recomendado para menores de 10 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 10.
- 12 Não recomendado para menores de 12 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 12.
- 14 Não recomendado para menores de 14 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 14.
- 16 Não recomendado para menores de 16 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 16.
- 18 Não recomendado para menores de 18 anos – Content suitable for viewers over the age of 18, access to these programs is locked by a personal password.
The system also regulates a watershed, or certain times where certain programming may air on broadcast television. Programming on cable networks can air at any time, regardless of its rating.
- L- and 10-rated programming may air at any time though 10-rated programs should not be shown to ages 9 and under.
- 12-rated programs may air only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- 14-rated programs may air only between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- 16-rated programs may air only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- 18-rated programs may air only between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The Canadian TV Classification System was created in late 1997 for English-language programrs 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.
- Exempt – Shows which are exempt from ratings (such as news and sports programming) will not display an on-screen rating at all.
- C – Programming suitable for children ages of 2–7 years. No profanity or sexual content of any level allowed. Contains little 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.
- 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.
- 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 6:00 a.m.).
- G (general) – appropriate for all ages and must contain little or no violence and little to no sexual content;
- 8+ – appropriate for children 8 and up may contain with little violence, language, and little to no sexual situations;
- 13+ appropriate – suitable for children 13 and up and may contain with moderate violence, language, and some sexual situations;
- 16+ – recommended for children over the age of 16 and may contain with strong violence, strong language, and strong sexual content;
- 18+ – only 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.
- 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 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.
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). 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.
A content rating system were introduced to Finland television broadcasting in 2004. The initial ratings system for television programs shown on Finnish television channels consist 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 05:00 p.m., not recommended for children under 12;
- K16 – not allowed air before 09:00 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 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 between midnight and 5 a.m. and only in some channels, access to these programs is locked by a personal password.
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 (FSK) checks every show in private television.
A content rating system in Greece was devised in 2000. The system has five ratings, with each rating being represented by a different shape on a different-coloured background. The color-coded 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 all ages but parental consent is recommended;
- – required parental consent (only allowed between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.);
- – suitable for minors over the age of 15 (only allowed between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.);
- – suitable only for adults (allowed only between midnight and 6:00 a.m.), profanity before midnight is punishable by fine, except when used in the context of the program. May contain explicit scenes, etc.
The Hong Kong television rating system is since by generic code of television programs standard of the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap.562) on December 11, 1995. The current ratings are:
- G (general) – for general audiences;
- PG (parental guidance recommended) – programs are unsuitable for children, parental guidance is recommended;
- M (mature) – programs are recommended only for adult viewers above the age of 18, only allowed to be shown between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Programs that are classified as either 'PG' or 'M' 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.
||This section contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. (August 2011)|
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.
In 2002, a new rating system was devised. 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 current system there are five rating categories:
- Unrated – programs can be viewed by any age;
- 6 – programs not recommended for children below the age of 6, may not contain any violence or sexual content. 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. 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. A yellow circle with the number 16 written inside is used for this rating;
- 18 – the program is recommended only for adult viewers (for ages 18 and up), may contain explicit violence and explicit sexual content. A red circle with the number 18 written inside is used for this rating (the red circle was also used until 2002, but it did not contain any number in it).
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.) Shri 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:
- U – unrestricted public exhibition;
- U/A – unrestricted public exhibition, but with a caution regarding parental guidance to those under 12 years of age;
- A – public exhibition restricted to adults 18 years of age and older only;
- S – public exhibition restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons (e.g. doctors etc.)—very rare.
Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) regulate broadcast television content that classifies television program into several classifications:
- SU - Semua Umur (English: all ages) – suitable for general audiences over the age of 2 years;
- P - Prasekolah (English: pre-school) – suitable for children from ages 2 through 6;
- A - Anak (English: children) – suitable for teens and 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 A and R rating, become:
- A-BO – suitable for teens and children from ages 7 through 12 with guidance of parents
- R-BO – suitable for teens and audiences over 13 with guidance of parents;
- D - Dewasa (English: mature) – suitable for viewers over 18 and older only.
In Malaysia, a television rating system was revised in January 2012. Ratings are shown five seconds before the program starts.
The classifications are as follows:
- U (Malay: umum) – general viewing for all ages, can be broadcast anytime.
- P13 - for viewers ages 13 and above, children under 13 needs parental guidance, can be broadcast anytime, but some elements may only be broadcast at night.
- 18 – for viewers ages 18 and above only, 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:
- A – appropriate for all ages, parental guidance is recommended for children under 7 years (some profanity, sexual references, violence or crude humor) (broadcast between 05:00 and 20:00 were required to be A rated and can be broadcast anytime);
- B – designed for ages 12 and older, may contain some sexual situations, mild violence, and mild language (allowed only between 20:00 and 05:00);
- B-15 – designed for ages 15 and up, slightly more intensive than the 'A' and 'B' ratings (allowed only between 21:00 and 05:00);
- C – designed to be viewed by adults aged 18 or older only, generally more intensive content (allowed only between 22:00 and 05:00);
- D – designed to be viewed only by mature adults (at least 21 years of age and over), contains extreme content matter (allowed only between midnight and 05:00);
- RC (refused classification) – banned from public television in Mexico.
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 years may only be broadcast from 8pm and with the classification 16 years from 10pm. Cinemas and theaters in the country cannot provide films with the classification 16 years to people under the age of 16). Animated versions of the icons used are also utilized in visual mediums. They are the same as Dutch film ratings. The system is also used for DVDs in Belgium and selectively used on television broadcasts in Flanders.
The following icons are in use for age rating:
- All Ages (Alle leeftijden)
- Parental advisory for children under 6 (Let op met kinderen tot 6 jaar)
- Parental advisory for children under 9 (Let op met kinderen tot 9 jaar)
- Parental advisory for children under 12 (Let op met kinderen tot 12 jaar)
- Parental advisory for children under 16 (Let op met kinderen tot 16 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)
New Zealand has two separate content rating systems, one for free-to-air channels and one for pay TV services.
New Zealand's free-to-air TV content rating system has been in place since 1989 and is based on the system Australia was using from the early 1980s until 1993. There are three classifications:
G (General Programs): These exclude material likely to harm children under 14 and can screen at any time. Programs may not necessarily be designed for younger viewers, but must not contain material likely to cause them undue distress or discomfort.
PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended): Programs more suited to more mature viewers. These are not necessarily unsuitable for children, but viewer discretion is advised, and parents and guardians are encouraged to supervise younger viewers. Programs rated PGR can screen between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and between 7 p.m. – 6 a.m.
AO (Adults Only): AO programs contain material of an adult nature handled in such a way that it is unsuitable for children. Such programs are directed primarily at a mature audience and can screen between noon and 3pm on a school day (except during school and public holidays as designated by the Ministry of Education), and between 8:30 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. A special sub-class of this rating, denoted AO 9:30 p.m. or later, is reserved for programs with a "greater degree of sexual activity, potentially offensive language, realistic violence, sexual violence, or horrific encounters" and are considered unsuitable for viewing before that time. www.bsa.govt.nz.
The rating for each program is shown at the start and after each commercial break. Some PGR programs and most AO programs have an advisory before the program begins to advise of any specific content that could offend viewers such as language, nudity, sex and violence.
The system for pay television is as follows:
- 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
Any program of any rating can air at any time, but care should be taken to observe the following guidelines (as per the Broadcasting Codes of Practice):
- Although most services these days make content filtering technology available to subscribers free-of-charge, channels carried by providers that do not have said technology can only screen material rated 18 between the hours of 8pm and 6am, and also between 9am and 3pm on school days.
- Programming rated M or higher should not be scheduled on either side of a program rated G.
- Visual warning labels should be displayed before certain programs rated PG or higher. More than one can be used and the labels are:
- C: Content may offend
- V: Violence
- L: Language
- S: Sexual content
The age rating system in the Peru television came into force in 2005 as President of the republic Alejandro Toledo and the Congress passed this law for radio and television. The open-signal channels that show their age rating are: a.m.érica Televisión, ATV, Frecuencia Latina, Global TV and La Tele. Nevertheless, the channels: TV Peru, Panamericana Television, etc. do not show their classification.
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 November 1995, the MTRCB has implemented only two television ratings: "General Patronage" and "Parental Guidance", in which these 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||Programs rated PG may contain scenes or other content that are unsuitable for children without the guidance of a parent.due to issues of material.|
|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 to children.|
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 sometime 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. 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 program and after a commercial break somewhere in the middle 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 for karahasan (violence), S for sekswal (sex), H for katatakutan (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 p.m.–6 a.m.
|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
11 p.m.–6 a.m.
|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 11pm and 6am and with a red circular marker on the top-right corner of the screen.
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 (may not be suitable for children under 10, parental guidance advised)
- 12, Acompanhamento Parental (may not be suitable for children under 12, parental guidance advised)
- 16 (not suitable for children under 16), access to these programs is locked by a personal password.
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 11pm and 6am.
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 15 July 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 Star World, Fox Movies Premium 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.
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 teens 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 or animal pornography—as this is 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. TV programs with this rating may contain some violence or/and some mild language. No adult content is allowed.
- 7 (7세 이상 시청가, chil-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programming that is not recommended for children under 7. TV programs with this rating can contain mild violence, mild language and little romance.
- 12 (12세 이상 시청가, sib-i-se i-sang si-cheong-ga): "Parental guidance recommended for viewers under the age of 12.(PG-12)" This rating signals that a program may not be suitable for viewers under the age of 12, and parental guidance is recommended for viewers under this age. TV shows 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):"Parental guidance recommended for viewers under the age of 15.(PG-15)" This rating signals that a program may not be suitable for viewers under the age of 15, and parental guidance is recommended for viewers under this age. The programs that have this rating can 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): This rating is for programs intended for adults, and are not to be seen by children of any age. 19-rated programming is banned from airing during the hours of 7:00AM to 9:00AM, and 1:00PM to 10:00PM. 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 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 may not be suitable for children/adolescents under the age of X, so parental guidance is recommended"(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 not suggested for youths 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.
These are the symbols of the Spanish rating system for television programs:
- SC (Sin calificación). This unofficial rating applies to news, sports and religious programming.
- 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 a baby icon inside a purple block and Canal Panda use 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's used today by some networks also. It's 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 don't display any icon on the screen; in Catalonia, TP-rated shows don't show any icon as well. Actually rating symbols are shown during all the program and in their advertisements. However, 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. The "Infantil" rating appears during the first 5 seconds.
Taiwanese rating system for television programs was introduced in 1999 and there are four symbols:
- General audiences category ("普"級): For all ages.
- Protected category ("護"級): Not suitable for children under 6 years old. People aged 6 but under 12 require guidance from accompanying adults to watch.
- Parental guidance category ("輔"級): Not suitable for people under 12 years of age. Parental guidance is required for people aged 12 but under 18.
- Restricted category ("限"級): For adults only and people under 18 years of age must not watch. The program under this rating can only be broadcast after 10:00 p.m. and before 6:00 a.m., access to these programs is locked by a personal password.
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 - content suitable for preschool aged children
- Children - content suitable for children between 5–12 years old
- General - content suitable for general audiences
- PG 13 - 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 - 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 - content unsuitable for children and youngsters, and can be viewed on TV only between 12:00 a.m..
TV programs in Thailand are already labelled by 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 introtuced 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.
- 7+ – Suitable for ages 7 and over. Shown at the beginning of the program/movie and after every commercial break.
- 13+ – 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.
- 18+ – Suitable for ages 18 and over. Shown for the whole duration of the program/movie (may be translucent). May only be broadcast between 0:00 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.
Ukrainian TV content rating was adopted on 15 September 2003. It started with three classifications (●, ▲, ■). On 6 May 2016, the classifications were replaced, and shows that does not have age restrictions not rated. The new ratings are the following:
- 12+: children under 12 must view this program with parents. In it program there are fragments, which unsuitable for children. It is: action films, some comedies and dramas.
- 16+: children under 16 must view this program with parents. In it program there are fragments, which unsuitable for children. It is: action films, some comedies and dramas.
- 18+: this program is only for viewers aged 18 and over. In it there are scenes with nudity, drug use, or violence. It can be some action films with big violence level and excessive bloodshed, horrors, mystical films. These programs broadcast late at night (10 p.m.–6 a.m.).
These designations must be in the lower right corner.
TV-Y – This program is designed to be appropriate for all children.
Programs rated TV-Y are designed to be appropriate for all children. The thematic elements portrayed in programs with this rating are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2–6. According to the FCC, programs rated TV-Y are "not expected to frighten younger children".
TV-Y7 – This program is designed for children age 7 and above. Programs rated TV-Y7 are designed for children age 7 to 16. The FCC implies that it "may be more appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe and reality." The thematic elements portrayed in programs with this rating may include 'comedic violence', or may be frightening or confusing for children under the age of 7.
Some programs may be given the "FV" content descriptor if they exhibit more 'fantasy violence', and/or are generally 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 – This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Programs rated TV-PG contain material that parental guardians may find inappropriate for young children.
TV-14 – This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.
Programs rated TV-14 may contain some material that parental guardians may find unsuitable for children under the age of 14. The FCC warns that "Parents are cautioned to exercise some care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended."
TV-MA – This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.
Programs rated TV-MA are usually designed to be viewed by adults. Some content may be unsuitable for children under 17. This rating is seldom used by broadcast networks or local television stations due to FCC restrictions on program content, although it is commonly applied to television programs featured on certain cable channels and pay television networks for both mainstream and pornographic programs.
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
- L – Coarse language
- S – Sexual content
- V – Violence
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. The violence descriptor was used for TV-Y7 programs until the creation of the 'FV' descriptor in 1997.
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. As of 2013, the rating was divided into three, TU means for all ages, SU means parental guidance for young viewers and A for mature viewers. Programs rated may only be broadcast at certain times.
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.
Countries without TV rating systems
- China (except Hong Kong)
- Ireland (except for RTÉ, which has its own)
- Morocco (except for the 2M national TV, which has its own)
- North Korea
- Panama (except some television channels)
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Switzerland (only a warning for unsettling/mature content)
- Timor Leste
- United Kingdom (on occasions, TV channels will provide a warning for sexual/disturbing content)
- Goehring, Jeannette (2007). Nations in Transit 2007: Democratization from Central Europe to Eurasia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-932088-26-0. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
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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The information in Brazilian sign language, item 4, must be displayed pursuant ABNT norms (NBR 15290) and is optional for shows with rating equal or inferior to PG-10.
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