Television rating system

Television rating system

Television content rating systems give viewers an idea of the suitability of a television program for children or adults. Many countries have their own television rating system and each country's rating process may differ due to local priorities. Programs are rated by either the organization that manages the system, the broadcaster or by the content producers themselves.

A rating is usually set for each individual episode of a television series. The rating can change per episode, network, rerun and per country. As such it is impossible to state what kind of rating a program has, without stating when and where this rating.


In Argentina, the content rating system are identical to those used by the local film bureau. However, rated programming is not compulsory for broadcasters.

  • 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 mature audiences only) – programs contain strong violence, coarse language and explicit sexual references.


A television content rating system for Armenia was introduced in June 2006 (first tested in Yerevan in January 2006).[1] The Armenian ratings are as follows:

Range specific

  • Y – suitable for ages 2–11;
  • 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.

Age specific

  • 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.


For details on the video and DVD classification system in Australia, see Censorship in Australia.

Commercial television stations in Australia are required to comply with the Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice, which is governed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Child-specific ratings

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.

Symbol Abbreviation Name Description
P Preschoolers Programming is intended for younger children 2–11; commercial stations must show at least 30 minutes of P-rated content each weekday and weekends at all times. No advertisements may be shown during P-rated programs.
C Children Programming intended for older children 5–14; commercial stations must show at least 30 minutes of C-rated content each weekday between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. or between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. A further 2 and a half ours a week must also be shown either within these time bands or between 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on weekends and school holidays, for a total of five hours a week (averaged as 260 hours over the course of a year). C-rated content is subject to certain restrictions and limitations on advertising (typically five minutes maximum per 30-minute period or seven minutes including promotions and community announcements).

Standard ratings

With the exception of the AV15+ rating, which is only used by commercial TV networks, the ratings 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.

Symbol Abbreviation Name Description
G General For general exhibition; all ages are permitted to watch programming with this rating.
PG Parental Guidance Recommended Parental guidance is recommended for young viewers; PG-rated content may air at any time on digital-only channels, otherwise, it should only be broadcast between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on weekdays, and between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on weekends.
M Mature Recommended for mature audiences; M-rated content may only be broadcast between 8:30 p.m. and 5:00 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 children and teens under 15; MA15+-rated programming may only be broadcast between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. on any given day. Consumer advice is mandatory. Some R18+ rated movies on DVD/Blu-ray are often re-edited on free TV/cable channels to secure a more "appropriate" MA15+ rating. Some movies that were rated R18 on DVD have since been aired in Australian TV with MA15+ rating.
AV15+ Mature Accompanied (Adult Violence) Not suitable for children and teens under 15; this is the same as the MA15+ rating, except the "AV" stands for "Adult Violence" meaning that anything that is Classified "MA15+" with the consumer advice "Frequent Violence" or "Strong Violence" will automatically become AV15+ (with that same consumer advice.) The AV rating is still allowed to exceed any MA15+ content, in particular – 'Violence'. AV15+ content may only be broadcast between 9:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. on any day. Consumer advice is mandatory.
R18+ Restricted Not for children under 18; this is limited to Adult "Pay Per View" VC 196 and 197. Content may include graphic violence, sexual situations, coarse language and explicit drug use.

Several programs that air before the PG timeslot of 7:00pm do still contain PG content, although nothing may be edited to fit a G rating. Shows that are usually rated PG now may feature the same amount of content when it was G rated. Some movies which have an "R" rating on DVD may be given an MA15+ on TV, although some of the content may be altered/removed to meet MA15+ classification guidelines.

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.[2][3] 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+,[4] 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[5] 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 an 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

Consumer advice is compulsory for all MA15+ and AV15+ programs, and one-off programs and very short series classified M or higher (such as feature films, miniseries and documentaries). A classification disclaimer may be displayed for PG material if the broadcaster believes the material is of an intensity that parents and/or young children may not expect.

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 and strength of any mature content. 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:

Sometimes, more specific consumer advice is issued, such as:

  • SN – used for programs based upon supernatural themes;
  • M – used for programs depicting medical procedures;
  • W – used for programs based upon war themes or scenes.

In other cases, a network may include more specific advice at the start of a program, but then substitute one of the more widespread categories when using the abbreviated form. Others may not use the above examples at all and simply list the content as violence, adult themes etc.


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.[6] 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.[7]

Brazilian ratings

The Brazilian content rating system utilizes age-specific classifications (with the exception of ER- and L-rated programming), and consist of the following:

  • ER  – programs with this rating are exempt from classification;
  •  L  Livre para todos os públicos – may contain content that is suitable for all audiences;
  •  10  Não recomendado para menores de 10 anos – may contain content not recommended for viewers under 10 years of age;
  •  12  Não recomendado para menores de 12 anos – may contain content not recommended for viewers under 12 years of age;
  •  14  Não recomendado para menores de 14 anos – may contain themes not recommended for viewers under 14 years of age;
  •  16  Não recomendado para menores de 16 anos – may contain material not recommended for viewers under 16 years of age;
  •  18  Não recomendado para menores de 18 anos – may contain content suitable for viewers 18 years of age and older.

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.[8]

  • ER-, L- and 10-rated programming may air at any time
  • 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 Bulgarian content rating system persists of the following classifications (if no rating appears, the program is most likely suitable for all ages):

  • 12 – not recommended for people under 12;
  • 14 – not recommended for people under 14;
  • 16 – not recommended for people under 16.


The Television Classification System was introduced in the Kingdom of Cambodia on April 23, 2011. The content rating system is a project of the Government Public Relations Department by the Office of National Broadcasting Commission for all eight Cambodian TV stations to set up a procedure of TV program classification. The original system used four main rating symbols and three content descriptors (using Cambodian characters) shown on-screen during the duration of the program. However, the stations have to follow the existing laws on broadcasting programs. There are no official graphics or signs for the ratings, utilizing only a ticker bar with a warning signified content not suitable for children. Children and non-scripted programming are usually not rated.


The Canadian TV Classification System was created in late 1997[9] for English-language programmers 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.[10]

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.[11]

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 restricted than movie ratings.

Canadian 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 profanity 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 profanity, 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 and sexual activity. Programming with this rating cannot air before the watershed (9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).

Quebec ratings

French-language broadcasters use the Régie du cinéma film rating system system for television programming.

  •  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 may contain with little violence, language, and little to no sexual situations;
  •  13+  appropriate – suitable for children 13 and may contain with moderate violence, language, and some sexual situations;
  •  16+  – recommended for children 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/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.


The National Association of Television (Asociación Nacional de Televisión) devised a content rating system in 1993.

Chilean ratings

Child specific
  •  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.
Standard ratings
  •  F  Familiar (family) – programs suitable for a general audience, with content appropriate for all ages;
  •  R  Responsabilidad compartida (shared responsibility) – programs may 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).


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.[12] 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."[13][14] 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.[14]

Fringe hours

The fringes (Spanish: franjas), as defined by the National Television Commission,[15] and 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.

Pornography is forbidden in broadcast over the air television in Colombia, even in the adult fringes.[16]


In Denmark, there are no regulations on what can be shown on Danish television, but a rating system has been devised,[by whom?] and consist of the following:

  • Green symbol – programs suitable for all ages, can be broadcast on all networks at any times;
  • Yellow symbol – programs suitable children accompanied by an adult, may only be broadcast after 6 p.m.;
  • Red symbol – programs containing material with more intensive content ;
  • Blue symbol – programs containing explicit content and strictly for adults only


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.;
  • K12 – not allowed air before 05:00 p.m.;
  • K16 – not allowed air before 09:00 p.m.;
  • K18 – not allowed air before 11:00 p.m.

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).[17] Each rating icon is translucent and, as of November 2012, is shown for the whole duration of the show.[18]

  • 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.


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;
  •  – desirable parental consent;
  •  – 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.

Hong Kong

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.


The Hungarian content rating system has changed frequently during the last few years. 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.

Before 2002, the Hungarian television rating system was more simplistic: networks would range their programs into three categories:

  • Unrated – programs suitable for anyone;
  • Not recommended for children under the age of 14 – films displaying light violence or with explicit dialogue were ranked into this category. The symbol of this category was a blue triangle.
  • Not recommended for children under the age of 18 – Films displaying heavy violence or sexual content were ranked into this one. The symbol of this category was a filled red circle.

Rating programs and displaying on-screen symbols was not strictly compulsory for the channels. Eventually the television authority found this system inappropriate.

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).

It should be noted, that these 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.[19]


The content rating system in Iceland consist of the channel's logo in the top-right corner, with the rating following by, consisting of the following:

  • L (set in green) – programs suitable for all ages;
  • 7 (set in gray) – programs suitable for ages 7 and older;
  • 10 (set in blue) – programs suitable for ages 10 and older;
  • 12 (set in yellow) – programs suitable for ages 12 and older;
  • 14 (set in orange) – programs suitable for ages 14 and older;
  • 16 (set in red) – programs suitable for ages 16 and older;
  • 18 (set in white) – programs suitable for ages 18 and older.


In India, there is no established TV programme rating system. In general, there is no screening of television content. However, in regards to film content (films, film trailers, film soundtracks etc.) shown on television, the statutory 'Programme Code'[20] provides that only that film content which is certified as 'Unrestricted Public Exhibition' ('U') by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) can be telecast on television, meaning no 'watershed hours' exist, and there is absolute prohibition of adult film content on Indian television regardless of scheduling. However, to facilitate telecast of 'A' (adult) films on television, CBFC, has been carrying out re-certification of adult ('A') films into 'UA' & 'U' as a matter of practice, but such 'conversion' has no legal basis. The Cinematograph Act, 1952 provides for certification of films by CBFC "having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film ..." and doesn't have any provision for the appeal of certified films.[21]

The current classifications 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.


Because of Indonesia's large Islam population (the largest in the world), TV censors have the right to edit out any content deemed offensive according to Islamic law, known as Haram. Television series in Indonesia are forbidden to have excessive offensive language, extreme violence, sexual situations (including nudity, displays of affection [e.g. kissing], and references to homosexuality), and animated scenes considered too scary or frightening for children.

The ratings are divided into eight categories:

  • P Pra-sekolah (English: pre-school) – suitable for children from ages 2 through 11;
  • A Anak (English: children) – suitable for teens and children from ages 7 through 16;
  • A-BO Anak – bimbingan orang tua (English: children with parental guidance) – suitable for children ages 5 through 10, with parental guidance or permission;
  • SU Semua umur (English: all ages) – suitable for general audiences;
  • BO Bimbingan orang tua (English: parental guidance) – parental guidance suggested for ages 5 and under;
  • R Remaja (English: teenager) – suitable for teens from ages 13 through 17;
  • R-BO Remaja – bimbingan orang tua (English: roughly translates to teenager with parental guidance) – suitable for teens with parental guidance or permission;
  • D Dewasa (English: mature audience) – suitable for viewers over 18 and older only.

The BO, A-BO, and R-BO classifications are not considered official, but appear on Indonesian TV as content warnings for certain networks.. However, some movies (even in late night airings) still need to be edited because the content is forbidden to air in Indonesia, mostly movies with very strong language, sex, nudity, some disturbing material etc.


In Ireland, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) displays a banner in the top right-hand corner (previously on the left-hand corner) of the screen during the opening screen of a program. The banner may display one of the following classifications:

  • GA Lucht féachana ginearálta (English: general audience) – suitable for all ages;
  • Ch Páistí (English: children) – suitable for children ages 5 to 10, may contain comedic violence or action fantasy violence;
  • YA Ógra (English: young adult) – suitable for adolescent audiences, may contain thematic elements that would appeal to teenagers;
  • PS Treoir tuismitheora (English: parental supervision) – suitable for more mature viewers, more mature themes may be present;
  • MA Lucht féachana lánfhásta amháin (English: mature audience only) – most restrictive classification, allowing for heavy subject matter and coarse language

These content ratings only apply to the RTÉ channels (RTÉ One, RTÉ Two). Other television channels will make an announcement about whether or not a show's content is appropriate for any range of age.


Since April 2003, Israel networks (Channel 2 and Channel 10) display the suggested age range for all programmes. Later, the rating became available at all of the channels, including cable networks. Originally, the limit tags came in three colors, yellow, orange and red, but in cable or satellite television, it is designated differently.

Israeli ratings

In 2010, the system was revised. The current ratings are as follows:

  • G – general audience; anyone, regardless of age, can view the program, usually news and children's programming;
  •  12+  – suitable for teens and children ages 12 and over, no child under 12 are permitted to view the program;
  •  15+  – suitable for teens ages 15 and over, no child under 15 may view the programme;
  • 18+ – suitable for adults only, no minors may view the programme;
  •  E  – exempt from classification (this rating is usually applied to live broadcasts).


Italy does not have an official television content rating system, and content rating systems may differ from network to network. Generally a colored logo system is used:

  • Green symbol – suitable for all audiences;
  • Yellow symbol – parental guidance suggested;
  • Red Logo – recommended for older viewers.

Major television networks respect a "Protected Time Schedule" (from 14:00 to 19:00), similar to the old family viewing hour used in the United States, in which objectionable content is not allowed to air during the hours when children may be watching. For films and TV series, usually the Italian motion picture classification system is observed. If a film rated V.M.18 (restricted to an older audience) in the theaters airs during the Italian prime time period (about at 10:45 p.m./11:00 p.m. or later), the film will be shown edited to fit a V.M.14 (suitable for viewers between the ages of 14 and 17) rating. The V.M.14 films can be aired during the prime time or in the afternoon only in edited form.


Television content ratings in Japan are identical to the Film rating system of the same country.


In Malaysia, a television rating system was introduced on November 1, 2011. The classifications are as follows:

  • U (Malay: umum) – general viewing for all ages, networks able to broadcast at anytime;
  • P13 for viewers ages 13 and above, children under 13 needs parental guidance, networks able to broadcast at anytime;
  • 18 – for viewers ages 18 and above only, networks permitted to broadcast after 11:00 p.m. only.

Rating system used between November 1, 2011 to June 15, 2012 consisted of the following:

  • A (Malay: anak) – programs recommended for children;
  • U (Malay: umum) – general viewing for all ages;
  • 13 – recommended for viewers aged 13 and above;
  • 18 – recommended for viewers aged 18 and above;
  • D (Malay: dewasa) – adults only permitted to view.

News programs are exempt from classification. Programs earlier than November 2011 lack broadcast ratings in reruns.


Television stations in the Maldives display a classification rating at the beginning of each program (news being exempt from this). Displaying classification rating after commercials may be optional. Each television station uses different classification rating for their respective programs. Usually, all television stations use the following classification age groups.

  • Y – young children;
  • G – general viewing for all ages;
  • PG – parental guidance is required unaccompanied children;
  • PG-12 – parental guidance is required for children under the age of 12;
  • 12+ – teens and children aged 12 and older may watch, otherwise restricted;
  • 15+ – restricted to viewers aged 15 and above;
  • 18+ – restricted to viewers aged 18 and above;
  • 21+ – restricted to viewers aged 21 and above;
  • X – most restrictive classification, only adults ages 25 and above may view.

The X rating is used for content that is banned from airing on public television in the Maldives. In particular, pornography or sexually explicit material is rated X and is banned, because pornography remains illegal in the Maldives as of the year 2009.


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 – designed for children under 7; no sex, nudity, violence, or language of any level is allowed, with the possible exceptions of non-sexual love, mild horror themes, etc.;
  • A – appropriate for all ages, although some material may be unsuitable for children under 7 years (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;
  • B-15 – designed for ages 15 and up, slightly more intensive than the 'A' and 'B' ratings;
  • C – designed to be viewed by adults 18 or older only, generally more intensive content;
  • D – designed to be viewed only by mature adults (at least 19–22 years of age and over), contains extreme content matter;
  • RC (refused classification) – banned from public television in Mexico.

In December 2010, the Latin American channel Canal Fox started using TV ratings, along with the channel XEIMT-TV in Mexico City.


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 (Programmes 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:

  • 30px Violence (Geweld)
  • 30px Scary or Disturbing Content (Angst)
  • 30px Sexual Content (Seks)
  • 30px Discrimination [scenes of characters getting abused, harassed, or excluded because of their race, skin color, religious beliefs, ethnicity, or sexual orientation] (Discriminatie)
  • 30px Drug and/or Alcohol abuse (Drugs- en/of alcoholmisbruik)
  • 30px Bad Language (Grof taalgebruik)

New Zealand

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 Programmes): These exclude material likely to harm children under 14 and can screen at any time. Programmes may not necessarily be designed for younger viewers, but must not contain material likely to cause them undue distress or discomfort.

Examples Include: Mostly kids shows, Soaps (Neighbours), Cooking And Lifestyle Shows etc.

PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended): Programmes 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. Programmes rated PGR can screen between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and between 7 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Examples Include: Mostly primetime sitcoms And Local Reality Shows

AO (Adults Only): AO programmes contain material of an adult nature handled in such a way that it is unsuitable for children. Such programmes 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

Examples Include: CSI:Crime Scene Investigation,Grey's Anatomy and some primetime dramas etc.

The rating for each programme is shown at the start and after each commercial break. Some PGR programmes and most AO programmes have an advisory before the programme begins to advise of any specific content that could offend viewers such as language, nudity, sex and violence. Not every Comedy or Drama series receives all the same ratings. For example, some The Big Bang Theory episodes are rated G, most recent episodes of 2 Broke Girls season 2 receives an AO rating, Some Packed to the Rafters episodes are rated AO, while most of them rated PGR. Some episodes or movies may required to be edited in order to be appropriate for the viewers, depending on the time.

Pay television

The system for pay television is as follows:

  • G: suitable for general audiences
  • PG: Parental guidance recommended for under 10
  • M: Suitable for mature audiences 13 and up
  • 16: Suitable for viewers 16 and up
  • 18: Suitable for viewers 18 and up

Any programme 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 programmes 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.

Symbol Characters used Meaning in Spanish Translation into English
Apt apto para todo publico suitable for all public viewers
14 apto para mayores de catorce años suitable for people aged 14 and above only
18 apto para mayores de dieciocho años suitable for people aged 18 and above only

However, América Televisión is the only channel that uses its own rating system with four categories:

Symbol Characters used Meaning in Spanish Translation into English
GP público en general general audience
PG guía paterna parental guidance required for under 6
TV-14 apto para mayores de catorce años suitable for people aged 14 and above only
TV-18 apto para mayores de dieciocho años suitable for people aged 18 and above only


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:[22][23][24]

Pictogram Classification rating English name Filipino name Description
G General Patronage None Suitable for all audiences. May apply to most children's programming, although informational, religious, how-to, or otherwise generally inoffensive content usually fall into this category.[25]
PG Parental Guidance Patnubay at Gabay Programmes rated PG may contain scenes or other content that are unsuitable for children without the guidance of a parent. Programmes that are broadcasted live, i.e. variety and game shows such as It's Showtime, are typically rated PG for their suggestive dialogue or humor.[26]
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 strict parental supervision. Programmes such as those by World Wrestling Entertainment are usually rated SPG for violent content. It is contrary to the US ratings of TV-PG and TV-14.[27]

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, 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 flashed 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. [28] [29]

On 9 February 2012, the SPG rating was implemented,[30] which utilizes at least one of the following content descriptors: T for tema (themes), L for lengguwahe (language), K 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.


Poland before 2000 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".[31] In Canal+ before the film to show in chart with key Canal+ in the appropriate color (green, yellow, red).[32] Until 27 February 2000 decided to mark the so-called TVN "adult movies" with a pulsating red 18+ logo.[33] 1 March 2000 an agreement was Polish television broadcasters as "Friendly media" in order to introduce in Poland a uniform system of classification of television programs. The signatories of the agreement were nine television broadcasters: TVP, Polsat, TVN, our TV, Canal+, Wizja TV, Poland and Cable TV Niepokalanow. They had time until 31 March 2000 on the introduction of the signs. 1 March 2000 the system runs on TV and our TV, TVN system appeared in mid-March 2000, while the other stations on 20 March 2000, Canal+ after 2000 used the characters from the film. This system consisted of three signs are displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.
Prior to August 2005 the ratings system consisted of three icons and 3 age groups:

Symbol Name
General viewing
Parental discretion advised
Adults only

These symbols were shown during 3 minutes at the beginning of the program and after each break.

The current Polish television rating system was introduced on 15 August 2005 and consists of five icons.[34] In 28 August 2011 changed the appearance of the characters:[35]

Symbols of 15 August 2005 Symbols of 28 August 2011 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 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.

Unlike the previous rating symbols icons in the revised system are seen continually during movies and TV programs. News, weather forecasts, sports, commercials and teleshopping are exempt from classification.


TV ratings on Portuguese television were many times refused by the audience. For a long time the only existing regulation was a red circular logo for programs with potentially shocking or harmful content.

However, in addition to this, all major TV networks decided in 2006 to apply a more specific rating system for the shows:

  • File:Todos.png Todos (suitable for all)
  • 10, Aconselhamento Parental (may not be suitable for children under 10) Nevertheless, some foul language, blood, drug reference and censored sex is allowed. Most soap operas are rated 10 ( Morangos com Açúcar, Laços de Sangue,..)
  • 12, Aconselhamento Parental (may not be suitable for children under 12)
  • 16 (may not be suitable for children under 16)

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.[36]


The rating system for programs and films shown on Romanian television:

  • Y: (Young Ages)
  • G: (General Exhibition)
  • AP: Accordul părinţilor (Parental guidance is recommended for children below the age of 12)
  • 12: Interzis copiilor sub 12 ani (Forbidden for children under 12 years of age)
  • 15: Interzis minorilor sub 15 ani (Forbidden for children under 15 years of age)
  • 18: Interzis minorilor sub 18 ani (Forbidden for children under 18 years of age)


The rating system for programs and films shown on Russian television:

  • 0+ (Can be watched by Any Age)
  • 6+ (Only kids the age of 6 or older can watch)
  • 12+ (Only kids the age of 12 or older can watch)
  • 16+ (Only teens the age of 16 or older can watch)
  • 18+ (Restricted to People 18 or Older)
  • 21+ (Adults Only)

These logos are shown in the beginning of the program and after every break.


In Serbia, TV stations are obliged to mark all programs that could endanger children and youth. TV programs that could endanger minors in any way must be clearly marked, and the custodians warned. Each program displayed before midnight, has to be marked with a clearly visible age limit (e.g. 12, 14, 16, 18) which warns the parents and other audience if it program is not suitable for all minors. It is displayed at the beginning (usually in a big red circle across the screen) and each 15 minutes (on a visible location, usually in a corner) of the show. On radio, this warning is presented by the speaker. a G rating is when nothing appears. an L, M, N means it's suitable for kids and children and young, and all ages may watch. Like (12, 14, 16, 18) they are exempt from classification, and replaced by P, Q and R.

All broadcasters have the right to classify programs on their own, but the Serbian Republic Broadcasting Agency (RBA) reserves its right to punish or warn the stations if they do not mark the programs at all, do not mark it as described or systematically estimate age categories wrongly. The broadcasters have the right to ask the agency's opinion in certain show if they are not capable of recognizing its category. They are also advised to take care of the usual children schedule and to avoid problematic material in time when it could be easily expected that minors are watching or listening the program.

  • G (Program suitable for all ages (G on a red circle, usually a blank red circle))
  • 12 (Program not suitable for children under the age of 12 (12 on a red circle))
  • 14 (Program not suitable for children/teens under the age of 14 (14 on a red circle))
  • 16 (Program not suitable for children/teens under the age of 16 (16 on a red circle))
  • 18 (Program not suitable for minors under the age of 18 (18 on a red circle))

Unconventional ratings:

  • 15 (Program not suitable for children/teens under the age of 15 (15 on a red circle))
  • 17 (Program not suitable for children/teens under the age of 17 (17 on a red circle))

These ratings are used only on a few TV stations.


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 programmes can be shown anytime. Before the rated programme 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 programmes ) are enabled to carry NC16 and M18 rated content. FashionTV is also Singapore's first official M18 rated channel. M18 rated programmes 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 programmes 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 programmes are not required to show a notification for any channel.


Slovenian government accepted a law in 2004,[37] in which television stations are required to play a warning before a film and display one of the following icons:

  • VS (vodstvo starsev) – Parental guidance suggested (for children under 6)
  • +12 – Content suitable for teens over 12 years
  • +15 Content suitable for teens over 15 years
  • AD (odrasli) – Content exclusively for adults

South Africa

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.

(The 18 rating does not refer to adult, child or animal pornography—as this is banned from television and cinema by the Film and Publication Board.)

  • 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 totally banned by the Film and Publication Board.)

Additional symbols:

South Korea

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. This program usually involves programs designed for children. This rating does not have an icon.
  • 7 (7세 이상 시청가, chil-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programming that may contain material inappropriate for children younger than 7, and parental discretion should be used.
  • 12 (12세 이상 시청가, sib-ee-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programs that may contain material inappropriate for those younger than 12, and parental discretion should be used. Usually used for animations that have stronger themes or violence then those designed for children, or for reality variety programs that have mild violence, theme, or language.
  • 15 (15세 이상 시청가, sib-o-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programs that contain material that may be inappropriate for children under 15, and that parental discretion should be used. Examples include most dramas, and talk shows on OTA TV (KBS, MBC, SBS), and many a.m.erican TV shows/dramas on Cable TV channels like OCN and OnStyle. The programs that have this rating may include moderate or strong adult themes, language, sexual inference, and violence. Since 2007, this rating is the most used rating for TV.
  • 19 (19세 이상 시청가, sib-gu-se ii-sang si-cheong-ga): This rating is for programs that are not recommended to those younger than 19. 19-rated programming may air outside of the watershed which is from 7:00AM to 9:00AM, and 1:00PM to 10:00PM. If a program is classified as this rating, the icon has to be displayed through the duration of the program.
  • 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.

Ratings are displayed every ten minutes, lasting 30 seconds. It also has to be displayed after every commercial break. Ratings may be displayed either on the upper-left or upper-right corner of the screen, with a size of at least 1/20 of the screen, and in black writing on a yellow circle with a white outline, except for the "All" rating, which does not have an icon. A rating disclaimer is displayed on the start of the program for five seconds explaining "Because this program is not appropriate for children/youth under the X years old, parental viewing discretion 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 watchable by audience of all ages"(이 프로그램은 모든 연령의 시청자가 시청할 수 있는 프로그램입니다) and "This program is not suggested for youth under age 19"(이 프로그램은 19세 미만의 청소년이 시청하기에 부적절한 프로그램입니다) respectively.

South Korean television ratings do not include content descriptors or viewer advisory as they do in the United States and Australia. The ratings are therefore used in a broader sense. Based on the impact of one element, for example, an otherwise "12"-rated show with occasionally stronger violence (or other element) may receive a "15" instead of an additional advisory.


These are the symbols of the Spanish rating system for television programs:

  •  TP  (Todos los públicos). Recommended for all ages.
  •  i  (Recomendado especialmente para la infancia). Specially recommended for preschoolers and kids.
  •  7  or  +7 : Recommended for people older than 7 years old.
  •  7i  or  +7i : Recommended for kids older than 7 years old.
  •  12  or  +12 : Recommended for people older than 12 years old.
  •  16  or  +16 : Recommended for people older than 16 years old.
  •  18  or  +18 : Recommended for people older than 18 years old.

Rating symbols are shown all the programme or when it begins (also after broadcasting adverts), depending on the rating and the hour (12 and over are always shown, and TP is never shown). Years ago, all ratings were shown only al the beginning. On '+18' rated programs, a brief warning tone can also be heard. '18' or '+18' rated programs are not allowed to be shown on free to air television before 10.00 p.m. and after 6.00 a.m.


The Swiss system only contains one symbol which is used for content unsuitable for children and young teenagers. It is a red rectangle that appears next to or below the TV channel logo and for the whole duration of the show. Moreover, the following text appears on the whole screen right before the content is aired, in the language of the channel: "This program contains scenes that may hurt sensitive people, therefore the red symbol will be displayed."

Those contents are usually aired after 10:00 p.m.


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..


In Thailand, a television rating system was introduced in 2006 alongside a movie ratings for movies. The ratings used are as follows:

  • C (Children): Especially Recommended or children and showed 6:00a-8:00a and 3:00p-8:00p on weekdays and only 6:00a-Noon On the weekend
  • U (Universal): General viewing for all ages. Prior to the 2009 introduction of the PG-13 rating, all programs shown between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. were required to be U-rated. It can be shown anytime on all channels.
  • PG-13: Parental guidance suggested for children under 13 years of age. This classification was introduced in 2009.
  • 18: For viewers aged 18 and above. These programs may contain explicit scenes and mature content. This replaces the previous 18+ ratings that used prior to April 2010. Programs rated may only be broadcast after 10:00 p.m.. If the channel is broadcasting 24 hours, it can only be shown until 6:00 a.m..

Ratings are shown at the beginning of the show and after every break (with the exception of news programs), for 10 to 15 seconds. Pornography is prohibited in Thai television. Please note that 18 rating icon, did not shown for the duration of the program, as did in South Africa and South Korea, mandatorily.

TrueVisions only uses U and 18, and programs under both classifications can be shown anytime.


RTÜK introduced smart signs (akıllı işaretler) in 2006.

Sign Meaning
50px Suitable for all ages
50px Suitable for ages 7 and over
50px Suitable for ages 13 and over
50px Suitable for ages 18 and over
50px Contains elements of sexuality
50px Contains elements of violence and horror
50px Contains behaviors that may create a negative example


Ukrainan TV content rating was adopted on 15 September, in 2003. It somewhat looks like Poland's former ratings. Listed below are designations of Ukraine classification:

  • Green Circle: this program does not have age restrictions. To it category related family films, comedies, cartoons, some action and mystical films, drama films, concerts.
  • Yellow Triangle: children must view this program with parents. In it program there are fragments, which unsuitable for children. It is: action films, some comedies and dramas, horror films. Programs with this rating usually broadcast in the evening (6 p.m.–5 a.m.).
  • Red Square: this program is only for adult viewers. 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 (11 p.m.–5 a.m.). But if there is a red square in the lower right corner of the screen, it is not necessarily a dangerous film for children to view.

These designations must be in the lower right corner. Green circle can be shown for only the first three minutes, but other marks must be present over the time of this programs.

United Kingdom

For details on the video and DVD classification system in the UK, see British Board of Film Classification.

There is no formal rating system for television in the United Kingdom, however, communications regulator Ofcom does enforce a watershed of 9:00 p.m. for terrestrial channels and 8:00 p.m. for certain pay channels, before which no adult content may be shown. However, individual broadcasters do implement their own viewer advisory systems:

  • BBC One and ITV have implemented verbal announcements before programs indicating the nature of the content about to be shown, although they show comparatively little explicit material when compared to BBC Two, Channel 4, Channel 5, and the other channels available for no extra charge on Freeview, all of which now make similar warnings. In theory any program may be shown immediately after the 9pm watershed, however, the schedulers tend to employ a 'sliding scale' attitude to the content; it is therefore down to the personal discretion of each scheduler as to what is shown and when. In addition to the watershed rules there is lee-way offered at anytime of the day dependent upon the educational reasons for showing an item; for example the unedited birth of a child or explicit sexual health advice, if required by the programme's context.
  • In addition to the above, Channel 4 occasionally has extra announcements before a program resumes from a commercial break, if the content in a certain segment is viewed to be likely to cause offence. (i.e. if the program crosses the watershed or during an educational program such as Embarrassing Bodies or The Sex Education Show scheduled before the watershed). Examples include the usage of the word "cunt" on Big Brother and a standard "don't try this at home" disclaimer before and during Jackass.
    • In its early years, Channel 4 notably broadcast a series of explicit art films during the late-night hours, which came to be known as the "red triangle films" due to its use of a red and white triangle as a viewer advisory.
  • Channel 5 formerly used a movie rating system, almost entirely based on the BBFC movie classification systems, used for films only:
    • Universal rating: The film is appropriate for all ages and may even be suitable for family viewing.
    • Guidance rating: Can contain some mild violence, language or brief nudity. Some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
    • Caution rating: Can contain strong violence, swearing, sex, explicit material or disturbing scenes. For adults only.
  • Sky Movies shows a screen displaying a rating of a film before it is broadcast. The ratings are based on the BBFC ratings and a verbal announcement such as "Sky has rated the following film as 12" is given. Explicit content (15, 18-rated) may be shown before the watershed because the channels are PIN protected on digital satellite and cable.
  • The BBC and ITV also warn viewers of potentially offensive content by marking it as a Guidance rated programme. Reasons for the rating being assigned to the programme varies. These warnings are widely used on on-demand platforms.
  • It is often noticeable that Channel 4 are more likely to either cut out parts without notifying the audience or notify them of the content before the program is to come on. Such examples that are edited for daytime viewing are repeats of many popular shows such as; Big Brother, Friends, Will and Grace, and Desperate Housewives. One such scene in Desperate Housewives episode "Now You Know" was deemed too racially offensive to air even in the 10pm timeslot, but this scene was also cut on a global scale after its initial airing in the USA caused so many problems. It is now thought that Channel 4 are a lot more sensitive with the controversial shows, since the controversy that was given out on a global scale with the Celebrity Big Brother racism controversy in 2008.

United States

TV-Y icon.svg
  • TV-Y – This program is designed to be appropriate for all children.[39]

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 are "not expected to frighten younger children".[39]

TV-Y7 icon.svg
  • TV-Y7 – This program is designed for children age 7 and above.[39]

Programs rated TV-Y7 are designed for children age 7 and older. 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."[39] 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.

Programs given the "FV" content descriptor exhibit more 'fantasy violence',[39] and are generally more intense or combative than other programs rated TV-Y7.

TV-G icon.svg
  • TV-G – Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages.[39]

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."[39] 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.[40]

TV-PG icon.svg
  • TV-PG – This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.[39]

Programs rated TV-PG contain material that parental guardians may find inappropriate for young children.

TV-14 icon.svg
  • TV-14 – This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.[39]

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."[39]

TV-MA icon.svg
  • TV-MA – This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.[39]

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 (especially premium services such as HBO and Showtime) 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:

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 the rate their TV-MA programs with the descriptor. 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. The law established a rating system from A to E based on evaluation of language, health, sex, and violence in a program. Content rated A contains mild content. Programs with certain ratings may only air at certain times; cable providers must block programs with a rating of E for sexual content, or be fined.[41]

Countries that do not have television ratings

See also