PTC Takes Closer Look at Violence


Under the new president Tim Winter, the Parent Television Council  is drawing a bead on TV violence.

Saying there is a "widespread consensus that television violence is a significant problem,"  the PTC said Monday it would release a study on January 10 that looks at primetime broadcast TV violence.

The study is almost sure to show that TV violence and gore has become more graphic in the last few years, especially given the success of forensic detective and medical shows.

PTC would only say that the study will reveal "whether violence has become more frequent and graphic," but tips its hat a bit with saying it would also reveal, "which network had a 309% increase in violent incidences per hour between 1998 and 2006."

Tentatively scheduled to appear at a Wednesday press conference along with Winter are TV content critic Michael Copps and Jeff McIntyre of the American Psychological Association.

The FCC has yet to release an overdue TV violence study that has been several years in the making.

Winter also signaled last week that he will carry the standard for a la carte cable programming with equal vigor to that of his predecessor in the post, Brent Bozell.

In response to an FCC cable pricing study, Winter said last week, "This FCC report affirms what we've been saying for the past few years: Cable prices are accelerating at exorbitant rates, and the key driver behind the price increases is programming - programming that is being forced onto consumers who have no say in the matter."

Cable counters that the FCC study uses outdated figures and fails to account for the increased value--more networks, bundled service--that has accompanied the price increases. The National Cable & Telecommunications association argues that the price increases--93% since 1996--evaporate when that price is calculated by cost per viewing hour.