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Industry Commits to Promote Existing Parental Controls

Jan 19, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Several major players in the TV industry on Thursday unveiled a new commitment to fund public service announcements promoting TV ratings and existing technology that enables parents to control what television programming gets into their homes.

The move comes amid efforts by politicians and some watchdog groups to pass new indecency legislation on Capitol Hill.

Under the new industry-wide initiative, cable and satellite TV operators are joining to promote the v-chip and other blocking technologies across their platforms with PSAs created by the Ad Council.

The creation and spot buys for the PSAs, which are supposed to run for at least a year and a half, could cost up to $300 million, said Jack Valenti, former chief of the Motion Picture Association of America, who outlined the plan during Senate Commerce Committee indecency hearings. Also, under the new commitment TV ratings will appear at the beginning of shows and at the end of commercial breaks. Currently, the ratings appear only at the beginning of shows.

“We present a common-sense plan that will convey to American parents that they have, right now, all the weaponry they need to control all the TV programming that enters their home,” Mr. Valenti said. He added that part of what made the program different is that the new PSAs are being promoted across industry platforms in a coordinated way.

Under the industry plan, use of the blocking technologies will be promoted when consumers buy TV sets and when cable and satellite services are installed.

On another front, the industry vowed to provide religious and advocacy groups with educational information on the use of blocking technologies. Backers of the initiative include the Big 4 TV networks, DirecTV, EchoStar Communications, the Ad Council, the MPAA, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Consumer Electronics Association, Viacom and Time Warner.