The four major national broadcast networks--ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, along with Spanish-language broadcasters Telemundo, Univision, and Telefutura--announced on Monday that they would add ratings and parental guidance information on TV programming that is viewed online. The new system will be in effect by December 2012.
According to a joint press release, each broadcaster will decide how to present the information, but all will post the TV ratings at the start of a show, and they will make the information available in programming listings.
The move comes as broadcasters and regulators wait on the Supreme Court’s opinion in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, an appeal of a federal court decision that found that the current system of enforcing rules against broadcast indecency is vague and unconstitutional. That ruling is expected this summer.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski praised the move, saying, “I applaud the networks’ commitment to empower parents. With our rapidly changing media marketplace, it is vital parents have tools to help them make informed choices.”
New FCC member Jessica Rosenworcel weighed in as well, saying, “The way we watch is clearly changing. But what is not changing is the need to provide parents with simple and honest means to monitor and manage their children’s viewing.”