Sky TV has decided to partner with the US media rating service, Common Sense Media to introduce a detailed rating system that will help parents make smarter choices about what their children watch on Sky. The new service will launch in the UK in
Since its founding in 2003, Common Sense has built the largest library of independent age-based reviews for everything kids watch, play, read and learn. The service, which will be available on Sky Q, will include in-depth information on the
prevalence of specific types of content. This includes the educational value of the show, positive messages, use of positive role models, bad language, violence, sex and drink and drugs. Each is rated on a scale of one to five depending on how
applicable it is to each show.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky, said:
As a parent I know how reassuring it is that the Sky platform offers a safe, highly-regulated, family-friendly environment 203 but we know we can always do more.? Our partnership with Common Sense will help give parents greater peace of mind,
helping them make smarter viewing choices for their children.
Later this year Sky Kids Safe Mode will launch on Sky Q, helping parents hand pick and ring-fence the content they want their children to watch and password protect any content they feel is unsuitable.
Sky also offers Sky Kids app which re-launched earlier this year with improved safety controls, and the network level internet blocking system, Sky Broadband Shield.
The announcement does not mention how this will effect Sky's relationship with the BBFC, presumably this is a bit of a snub to cinema and video ratings provided by the BBFC.
As an example of Common Sense Media I compared their comments on the Marvel superhero Venom with the more detailed BBFC advice:
MPAA Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Venom is a sci-fi action movie based on an antihero/villain from the Marvel universe. Photo journalist Eddie Brock's (Tom Hardy) life is disrupted for good when he becomes host to an alien parasite. The alien
symbiote is able to take over Brock's body, giving him superpowers but also a dark alter ego called Venom. As his worried girlfriend, Anne (Michelle Williams), watches, Brock struggles with whether to escape the destructive being taking over
his body or to give in to its dangerous power. This movie looks darker than most of the Marvel films; expect intense, graphic violence, strong language, and lots of scares.
Rated 15 for strong threat, horror, violence
VENOM is a US sci-fi action fantasy in which alien organisms are brought back to Earth.
There are a number of sequences in which people are threatened and attacked by the alien organisms, or by people into whose bodies the aliens have entered.
Horror sequences include the alien organisms entering people's bodies, causing their limbs to distort and their bones to crack. There is sight of injury detail, including protruding bones
Stronger moments of violence include people being impaled by the alien organisms, sometimes with bloody detail, and people being eaten by the aliens. There is also moderate action violence throughout, including heavy punches, kicks and other
blows as well as use of tasers.
There is also infrequent strong language ('f**k'), alongside milder bad language (eg pussy, shit'). There are sequences in which live animals appear to be eaten but no animals were harmed in the making of the film.
China has complained to Sweden over a satirical news show on Swedish state television that advised Chinese tourists how to avoid culture clashes. China complained that the show insulted the Chinese people.
The satirical programme Svenska Nyheter (Swedish News), was aired a week after police removed three Chinese citizens from a Stockholm hotel. Local media reported they had refused to leave the hotel despite the fact they were not booked to
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement:
The [Svenska Nyheter] anchor's remarks are full of discrimination, prejudice and provocation against China and other ethnic groups, completely deviating from professional media ethics. We strongly condemn this.
China wants to expand a ban on foreign TV shows during the evening prime-time hours, according to the latest proposal by the country's media censor.
Since 2004, China has banned foreign TV movies and serials during the peak 7-10pm viewing hours. Now the National Radio and Television Administration is considering banning programming all foreign programmes during this peak period.
The rules will apply to free-to-air and paid channels, as well as streaming sites.
The censors speak of ideological reasoning but maybe its also to do with China's trade war with Donald Trump.
As China's TV gets ever more censored, many people now use streaming sites like iQiyi and Mango TV for their kicks and they are increasingly willing to pay for it. While these sites offer hit western shows such as Game of Thrones, they have also
adopted a similar strategy to Netflix by producing their own content.
But as they gain popularity they may also gain more attention from the censors.