Parents Rejoice; DIRECTV Is First To Deliver Easy-To-Understand On-Screen TV Ratings

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Scott Greczkowski

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Parents Rejoice; DIRECTV Is First To Deliver Easy-To-Understand On-Screen TV Ratings From Common Sense Media
Parents Can Now Make Kid-Friendly Programming Choices with Common Sense Media on DIRECTV


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- This spring, parents across the country can turn to DIRECTV, the first video distributor to offer Common Sense Media's age-based content reviews on its TV programming guide. This service provides parents with easy access to detailed, age-based information and reviews so they can make the right programming choices for their families.

DIRECTV and Common Sense Media have been making kid-friendly ratings information available on directv.com, since early last year. Now, DIRECTV customers will be able to easily access this important information on the electronic program guide by simply clicking the "info" button on their remote control. At this critical point of decision, parents will have access to Common Sense Media's helpful information on the program's violence, sexual content, positive messages, topics for family discussion and more.

Based on childhood development criteria, Common Sense Media's age-based ratings system helps parents make decisions about which movies, video games, TV shows, Web sites, books, and music are right for their families. The Common Sense Media ratings information complements traditional ratings services by providing more detailed, easy-to-understand information.

"DIRECTV believes that finding appropriate TV choices for your kids should be simple and straightforward," said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment. "Common Sense Media reviews go well beyond the current TV ratings system and actually give parents the information to make decisions about the TV choices in their home. Not only does it give practical information about individual TV shows, but it also presents ideas of how to discuss the shows or movies with your kids. We're proud that DIRECTV is the first TV provider to deliver this service to its customers."

"We applaud DIRECTV for being the first to integrate our ratings into their on-screen guide," said Anne Zehren, president and COO of Common Sense Media. "We hope it will inspire other distributors to be proactive in helping parents determine what's appropriate for their kids right at the point of decision. Our goal at Common Sense is to empower parents with the tools and information they need to help kids get the best - and avoid the worst - of media and entertainment. DIRECTV has done a great job championing that mission."

Customers can continue to access ratings information on directv.com by clicking on a TV show or movie title on the directv.com programming guide and use the "Parental Ratings" tab to link directly to the Common Sense Media information. After reviewing the ratings, parents can use DIRECTV's DVR Scheduler by simply clicking on the "record to receiver" tab and scheduling the program to record on their DVR at home - only at directv.com.

DIRECTV, the world's most popular television service, and Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving families' experiences with media and entertainment, formed a partnership early last year that is helping millions of DIRECTV's customers find age-appropriate programming for their families.
 
Ken S

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Yet they still don't have CIG working and their search still brings up titles for adult programming.
 
harshness

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I remain baffled by the idea that a third party should be delegated the parent's responsibility for both understanding and recommending what their children watch.
 
Big Dawg 23

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I remain baffled by the idea that a third party should be delegated the parent's responsibility for both understanding and recommending what their children watch.

+1 on that. That is the problem with kids today. Parents are too stupid and allow the kids to run the family. Too many parents are also PC illiterate which allows them to surf where and when. My kids are screwed as my wife puts it because of my understanding of pc and safety.
 
Ken S

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I remain baffled by the idea that a third party should be delegated the parent's responsibility for both understanding and recommending what their children watch.

Want to explain this comment in more depth? Are you suggesting that there shouldn't be reviews? That programming suggestions are bad? Maybe that we shouldn't have any parental controls at all?

Do you have the same opinion about all types of reviews...or just those that might be of assistance to parents?
 
fleetfarmer

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I remain baffled by the idea that a third party should be delegated the parent's responsibility for both understanding and recommending what their children watch.

I remain baffled by your replies.
 
harshness

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I'm suggesting that the buck stops with the parents.

Do you know enough about this particular outfit that you would trust their recommendations for your child's TV viewing?
 
Ronnie-

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I remain baffled by the idea that a third party should be delegated the parent's responsibility for both understanding and recommending what their children watch.


How is it taking away any responsibility friom the parent? Personally, I see it as giving a responsible parent one more tool with which to make an informed decision. The parents that do not care what their kids watch are not going to take the time to read these guides anyway.
 
talos4

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Based on childhood development criteria,

I'd like to see that criteria.

How is a new rating system going to "shield" children from seeing "inappropriate" content?

The magazines hidden in my dads underwear drawer didn't work either.

At 13 years old, Out of sight, on my mind!
 
hancox

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Yet they still don't have CIG working and their search still brings up titles for adult programming.

ding ding ding. I wonder that this new-fangled rating will be for some of the adult stuff that the stupid search returns.
 
goaliebob99

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I didnt know there was a problem with the current rating system. I don't have an issue setting locks on my dish equipment, or directv equipment and never have.
 
televisionarchives

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What ever happened to the V Chip?
 
Scott Greczkowski

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BTW a few people have PMed me asking why I put "Parents Rejoice" in the title. One even asked me if I was trying to kiss up to DIRECTV.

The honest truth is that is the title that they put in their press release, I did not put the Parents Rejoice in there on my own.
 
cebbigh

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This might actually be a positive sign for those of us waiting for the release of the new Directv/Tivo. Common Sense media also does the Tivo Kid Zone.
 
Ken S

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I'm suggesting that the buck stops with the parents.

Do you know enough about this particular outfit that you would trust their recommendations for your child's TV viewing?
I would treat these ratings as a tool. Would I trust them completely? No, but it is most likely going to be helpful in immediately eliminating some programming from consideration.

Someone else mentioned that they have no problem blocking things with DirecTV equipment. There are problems...despite setting blocks, channel titles and program titles of inappropriate material can still appear. They do a good job of blocking the actual content, but titles and descriptions can be far more graphic than some parents would want.

I've read where Dish does a far better job and Tivo actually has a system that allows you to setup a totally kid-friendly box. I haven't used either so I don't know for sure.

I think what most parents that care would like would work something like this:

1. Allow the parents to completely block any channel (not just the adult channels). When I say block they don't appear in the guide, searches, etc...at all. It would be as if they don't exist.

2. Allow the parents to then block based on the ratings and sub-ratings. So a parent could block all shows that are rated TV-PG V but allow TV-PG S.

3. Allow the parent to block all PPV purchases

4. Shut down Mediashare so a child can't start perusing content from computers.

All of this should be optional and it shouldn't affect another customer's ability to watch anything they desire.
 
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