PRNewswire/ — Building on its commitment to supporting parents in making informed decisions about what their families are watching, the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board (the Board) today released new guidance for how video streaming services can incorporate the TV ratings into their services. The Ratings Best Practices Guidance for Streaming Services reflects an effort by the Board to ensure parents and families enjoy a consistent ratings experience across traditional television networks and streaming platforms.
“With an increasing number of children and families using streaming services, parents will benefit from the ability to access similar ratings on these platforms as they do on traditional television networks to help them continue to make informed decisions about age-appropriate programming,” said Ndidi Oriji, Board member and chair of the Streaming Task Force (the Task Force), a group created by the Board to evaluate how TV content ratings are being made available to parents on new technologies. “As the industry continues to evolve, we hope this guidance will encourage consistency while enabling innovation. We look forward to continuing to provide parents with the best experience possible across traditional and streaming platforms.”
“The new guidance is a step towards uniformity and consistency in an increasingly virtual, technology-driven world,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman of the Board and CEO of the Motion Picture Association (MPA). “Creation of the Task Force and release of this ratings guidance reaffirms the Board’s commitment to supporting parents in making informed viewing decisions and recognizes that as technology continues to change, so too will our ratings guidance for all content partners and providers.”
An August 2020 survey of parents conducted on behalf of the Board revealed that 84% of children are watching some content via streaming services. In response, the Board created the Task Force to engage in conversations with Board member companies that operate some of the newest and most popular video streaming services available today, including Discovery+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock, and Tubi, to examine how ratings information is incorporated into these and other streaming platforms. The Task Force then designed guidance to help all streaming services share ratings information with parents and families in a consistent way.
Examples of the new ratings guidance for streaming services include the following recommended best practices:
- For all streaming video assets that are rated, video streaming services should display TV ratings on-screen at the time that a consumer initiates the playback of a video asset.
- Video streaming services should apply TV ratings for all content that has been shown on television with ratings and content that is originally produced for the streaming environment, including on an episode-by-episode basis for episodically rated programs.
- Video streaming services should include age-based ratings within the product experience (e.g., as part of narrative program summaries contained on program description screens or within online menus and navigation guides), to the extent practicable after taking into account technical and other reasonable limitations.
For more information on the TV Parental Guidelines and the new ratings guidance for streaming services, please visit www.tvguidelines.org.