The way we watch our favorite TV shows and movies has changed significantly with the evolution of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other platforms. With video content so easily available, it may be difficult for parents to know what their children are watching. Many parents are concerned about their child watching shows or movies with inappropriate content. Fortunately, there are ways parents can monitor what their children are watching by using TV ratings systems, which indicate the content and age-appropriateness of TV shows. Explore this guide to learn about the different types of TV ratings.
The television industry designed the TV Parental Guidelines as a ratings system that gives parents information about the appropriate age ranges for different content. These guidelines were modeled after the film ratings to make them easy to recognize. Below is a visual for what a ratings icon looks like, with information about the different content descriptors.
Most television programs, except for sports and news shows, have the ratings icon and content descriptors at the beginning of the show or program, usually in the upper-left corner of the screen. For shows that last more than one hour, the ratings icon will appear at the beginning of the second hour. As some ratings can change episode-by-episode, it’s important to check at the start of the show what the rating is before letting your child begin viewing.
Below is a more in-depth look at the different types of TV ratings you may see appear at the start of the program. Read the information below to get a better understanding of what TV programs are suitable for certain age groups and why.
Sometimes the same television series may be edited differently based on when they air and which channel or streaming service is presenting them. For example, premium cable like HBO or Showtime may show content that hasn’t been edited for younger audiences compared to that of basic cable or broadcast channels. Before you let your child watch a new show on a streaming service platform or through cable TV, understanding this TV ratings guide may help you decide which types of content are best for your young ones or teens.
Discover other useful guides and tips in the CenturyLink Support Center, including resources on different streaming devices, how to watch sports with streaming TV and more.
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