PTC Pans Online Ratings Move - Broadcasting & Cable

PTC Pans Online Ratings Move

Group finds effort half-hearted and timing suspect
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Not everyone was cheering the networks' announcement that
their TV ratings would be going online. The Parents Television Council, whose
complaints helped spotlight broadcast content issues in Washington, had
"jeers" instead.

While the group gave the networks some credit for
"expressing an intention" to display the ratings -- they said it
would happen by December -- the group found the effort half-hearted and the
timing suspect.

"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," said PTC President Tim Winter.

As to Monday's announcement -- actually, B&C and the New York Times got a jump on that announcement Sunday night: "The
timing of this announcement on the eve of the Supreme Court's broadcast decency
decision in Fox v. FCC is dubious. Broadcasters have a unique publicly-granted
privilege and it is past time for them to start providing real solutions to
parents, rather than attempting half measures designed to sway the Court's and
the public's opinion."

The Court is expected within the next two weeks to render
its decision on the FCC's indecency enforcement regime.

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