Watchdog downplays network online ratings pledge


Kids watching TVProving that you can’t please everybody, the widely hailed promise from several big television networks to put ratings into play on streamed material also received one hearty jeer.

The jeer came from the television content critics at Parents Television Council, and jeer is the exact term the organization used to describe its reaction to the network pledge.

PTC first of all noted that the pledge was belated, claiming to have called for just such a pledge back in November 2010.

But not that it matters anyway, since PTC believes the ratings to be worthless.
“Unfortunately,” explained PTC’s Tim Winter, “if the online rating system is similar to the current television rating system, then this move is a distinction without difference. PTC has proven time and time again that the TV content ratings system is a facade, citing inaccurate and inconsistent ratings designated by the networks themselves with no accountability. In fact, in today’s statement, it is made clear that each network will have its own system, which will no doubt promote even more inconsistency and inhibit reliance by the very parents who need the technology. Programmers and distributors can – and must – do better.”

PTC says it thinks that the networks may be timing this as a hedge as a Supreme Court decision on the Fox v. FCC indecency case is pending.