Networks win on movie classification

The government has delivered a Christmas gift -of sorts- to networks and viewers by making a minor change to classification rules for movie broadcasts.

M rated movies can now be broadcast from 7:30pm, in line with M rated television shows. It was previously 8:30pm.

MA rated movies can now be broadcast from 8:30pm, also in line with MA television shows. It was previously 9pm.

The change to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which passed through Parliament earlier this month, had been a point of contention to networks. Industry sources had described the imbalance as a “ridiculous distinction between TV and movies.”

Nine had even taken steps to split movies such as Lord of the Rings, Casino Royale and London Has Fallen into two halves, coded separately such as PG and M. For viewers that meant a commercial break and an abrupt rolling of credits in the middle of a movie.

Hopefully this puts an end to such nonsense… unless a network is determined to trim down an M rated movie for 7pm on a weekend. Never say never….

Networks are already taking advantage of the change with MA movie Office Christmas Party and M rated Meet the Parents screening in early slots this week.

Nine sources tell TV Tonight they plan to screen M rated Black Panther on Sunday January 5 at an 8pm start -now able to run without two credit sequences.


  1. If you look at SBS World Movies, they already air M rated movies at 7:30pm (with a M rating). So I think this is a good thing moving forward and remove the problems we have such as dividing the movie into “two parts” with a credit at the end of each part. If TV shows with a M rating can be aired at 7:30pm, then so can movies with a M rating (same with MA, just replace 7:30pm with 8:30pm).

  2. About time.

    The strange distinction between films and TV was certainly ridiculous, but it’s not like it was mandatory. Only Nine showed downright contempt for their viewers with their two parters — doubly so for iconic opening sequences like Star Wars and James Bond. They always had the option to cut the whole thing or wait an hour.

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