Kids ignore TV classifications, says 10 boss.

Children are ignoring TV classifications if they want to watch TV says 10 CEO Paul Anderson.

Speaking yesterday at the Screen Forever conference he said children are finding content everywhere, and on every device.

“We also know that kids are not respecting -as some would say- arcane restrictions imposed on Free to Air,” he said.

“The lightning bolt for me in this regard was Married at First Sight. The sheer volume of audience told us that this was the entire family audience sitting watching it together.

“Here was a programme clearly not designed for children. But families were watching as families. Why?

“My theory: parents realised their kids would be watching by any other means that they could. Be it on their laptop or iphone, whether at home or a school. So better to control the message and watch as a family.

He added, “An M rating means nothing. An MA rating means nothing. We’ve turned a significant corner with regard to regulation and it really needs to be addressed.”


  1. The fact that classification warnings no long appear prior to a programme and have instead been reduced to a tiny blink-or-you’ll-miss-it box at the top left of the screen (which is barely legible on SD channels) isn’t helping matters, but hey, got to squeeze some more ads in, kids be damned.

    Further to that, after an ad break, the classification logo would traditionally reappear alongside the title of the show, and would be complemented with letters corresponding to any applicable classifiable elements ([A] for adult themes, [L] for coarse language, [S] for sexual references/sex scenes etc.), but they no longer display those either.

    The networks themselves are responsible for making classifications so easy to ignore as they have become so relaxed in reducing classification to a mere formality that they must adhere to as opposed to serving the interests of their audience.

  2. Parents need to make their own choices regarding what they allow and don’t allow their kids to watch. They shouldn’t be worried about classifications

  3. Kids have never been expected to follow the classification system. It exists is so that parents are informed in choosing what their kids watch. And watching together as a family is the best way to do that. Technology should be used to help parents do that. On cable and FTA they can set what classifications can be viewed. It should be extended to network catch ups.

  4. I question whether “kids” were really pursuing “other means”. It’s because the uncaring parents seem to find entertainment in this dross and let their “kids” watch it, and “Here was a programme clearly not designed for children. But families were watching as families. Why?”. Because you aired it at 7:30pm.

    • Agreed. If they didn’t mean for it to be a family show, perhaps they shouldn’t have aired it at 7.30 PM – and definitely not 7 PM on Sundays, that just makes it even worse.

  5. Sounds more like another sign of the flawed ratings system, I can’t see children wanting to watch Married at First Sight at all, when they have so many other choices of activities now.
    One day the TV networks will realise less and less of the younger generation are even watching free to air TV, but it will be far too late. The amount of TBA in the TV guides these days is ridiculous.

  6. I think someone should tell him, kids never cared about “ratings”. I had a TV in my bedroom from around the age of 10 and up so I could watch whatever I wanted pretty much and I am assuming most kids where the same, My early teen years where influenced by a little TV show that was MA and contained things no child should be watching…. SexLife on channel 10.

    Saying you can’t watch it is like saying no you can’t have cake and lollies for breakfast, kid’s don’t care

    • This is so true. Kids were ignoring classifications back in the 70s when Number 96 was the #1 show for viewers aged 5-12. They didn’t care it was “Adults Only” and seemingly their parents didn’t mind (or didn’t realise the kids were sneaking peeks at the show when the grown ups weren’t paying attention).

      In the 80s the kids all watched Prisoner, although I was never allowed to see it.

  7. What a load of bull. Bottom line is it is parent’s responsibility to regulate. Children always know no better. Can’t do much if some parents won’t do their job properly.

    Admittedly it is concerning when parents show content like this that makes kids think that kind of behaviour on the show is normal. The show is more of a comedy after all.

  8. So it’s 2019 and Paul has had a “lighting bolt” on this subject? Back in 1983 I was invited to speak at a NSW Education Department seminar, so I asked the organisers what they wanted. In particular they wanted copies of some scripts of the series Prisoner (rated in those days AO – Adults Only) because that was all that the kids wanted to talk about. Nothing new …

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