Programme Classifications

Free-To-Air Television Programme Classifications


A child means a boy or girl under the age of 14 years (Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989).

G – General

Programmes which exclude material likely to be unsuitable for children. Programmes may not necessarily be designed for child viewers but must not contain material likely to alarm or distress them.

PGR – Parental Guidance Recommended

Programmes containing material more suited for mature audiences but not necessarily unsuitable for child viewers when subject to the guidance of a parent or an adult.

AO – Adults Only

Programmes containing adult themes and directed primarily at mature audiences.

AO 9.3Opm – Adults Only 9.30pm - 5am

Programmes containing stronger material or special elements which fall outside the AO classification. These programmes may contain a greater degree of sexual activity, potentially offensive language, realistic violence, sexual violence, or horrific encounters.

Unclassified Programming

News and Current Affairs programmes, which may be scheduled at any time and may, on occasion, pre-empt other scheduled broadcasts, are not, because of their distinct nature, subject to censorship or to the strictures of the classification system.

However, producers are required to be mindful that young people may be among viewers of news and current affairs programmes during morning, daytime and early evening hours and should give consideration to including warnings where appropriate.

Sports and Live Programming cannot be classified due to the 'live' nature of the broadcast. The broadcaster must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of the programme conforms with the underlying timeband in which the programme is broadcast.

Source: Broadcasting Standards Authority guidelines, effective from 1 July 2005.