Media Release

Free TV Broadcasters welcome greater harmonisation of classification rules

By February 25, 2020 No Comments

Free TV Australia has welcomed the Government’s Review of Australian Classification Regulation and the proposal to achieve greater consistency of the regulatory framework across platforms.

Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair said: “Free TV supports updating the classification framework to ensure it is operating effectively in the modern media landscape.

“While the system for television is working well, the huge amount of digital content now being consumed means existing processes just can’t classify online content fast enough. We support changes to enable the existing well-understood classification markings to apply to all media content.

“In particular, the regulatory framework should allow content delivered on catch-up services including 7plus, 9Now and 10 play to be classified under the Television Classification Guidelines in the same way as broadcast content.”

In response to calls by some stakeholders to split the existing PG classification into two categories, Free TV expressed reservations, “The existing classification markings are long-standing and have a high-level of consumer awareness.

“Classification categories are not shoe sizes. The reason they work so well is that they support parents to make the rights decisions based on consumer advice and their children’s individual needs.”

Free TV also highlighted the need to ensure that any changes do not inadvertently increase the inconsistency in the existing scheme.

“While automated tools have the potential to deal with high volumes of material, they can also be subject to significant error rates. Changes to the existing framework will be needed to allow for re-classification of content in these circumstances.” Ms Fair said.

A copy of Free TV’s submission can be found here

Download a copy of the PDF here