Four in 10 parents have no clue that they can prevent kids from viewing objectionable TV shows using V-chip technology included in most new sets.
To get out the word, the Odyssey cable network last week began airing three public-service announcements, starring Kermit and other Muppets, aimed at giving moms and dads the basics on the channel-blocking system.
On Capitol Hill for an unveiling of the spots were Kermit himself, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), FCC Chairman William Kennard, Brian Henson, chairman of the Jim Henson Co., and NCTA President Robert Sachs.
Odyssey, which is carried on 1,500 systems and soon to be on DirecTV, will make the PSAs available to cable systems that don't carry the network. "We can make the V-chip as ubiquitous as seatbelts," Kennard said.
FCC officials in March blamed much of the public's obliviousness to the V-chip on the failure of ABC and NBC to air their own PSAs.