Programme Classifications

Changes to classifications and timebands on free-to-air TV channels 


Changes to classification labels and timebands take effect on 1 May 2020 across free-to-air TV channels in New Zealand. The PGR and AO labels are being replaced with G, PG, M, 16 and 18 labels. This will bring consistency with Pay TV and other streaming services. 

There are also changes to some of the timebands which dictate when different programmes can be shown. The 8.30pm watershed for 16+ programmes remains the same. M content can be played from 7.30pm and G and PG content can play at any time.

To help you decide what you and your family watch, we will also be increasing the use of classification labels, and you will see advisory symbols (L, V, C and S) to indicate the content of some programmes. 

To give you more control, parental lock features are available on Sky, Freeview and Vodafone enabled TVs to help manage what children in your care watch. 
For more information, and some useful tips about how to keep your kids safe when watching TV go to www.safeviewing.co.nz

Free-To-Air Television Programme Classifications and Audience Advisories

 

Classifications:

For the purposes of these classifications a child means a person under the age of 14 years.

G – GENERAL: APPROVED FOR GENERAL VIEWING

Programmes which exclude material likely to be unsuitable for children. Programmes may not necessarily be designed for child viewers but should not contain material likely to alarm or distress them. G programmes may be screened at any time.

PG – PARENTAL GUIDANCE: PARENTAL GUIDANCE RECOMMENDED FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS

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. PG programmes may be screened at any time

M - MATURE AUDIENCES: SUITABLE FOR MATURE AUDIENCES 16 YEARS AND OVER

The M classification means the programme might contain violence, sexual material, offensive language, adult themes, nudity, or other content that some children and parents find challenging. The programme may contain content with a moderate impact and themes that require a mature outlook. On free-to-air television, M programmes may be screened between 9am and 3pm on weekdays (except during school and public holidays, as designated by the Ministry of Education) and after 7.30pm until 5am.

16: PEOPLE UNDER 16 YEARS SHOULD NOT VIEW

Programmes classified 16 contain stronger material or special elements which are outside the M classification. These programmes may contain a greater degree of sexual material, offensive language, realistic violence, and stronger adult themes.On free-to-air television 16 programmes may be screened after 8.30pm until 5am.

18: PEOPLE UNDER 18 YEARS SHOULD NOT VIEW

Programmes classified 18 contain themes which may be challenging or offensive even to some adult viewers. On free-to-air television 18 programmes may be screened after 9.30pm until 5am.

Unclassified Programming

News, current affairs, sports and live content is not, because of its distinct nature, subject to classification. However, broadcasters must be mindful of children’s interests (Standard 3) and other broadcasting standards and include audience advisories (i.e. a warning) where appropriate.

If a programme is likely to disturb or offend a significant number of viewers, or progamme content is likely to be outside audience expectations, an appropriate written, or written and verbal, on-screen audience advisory (warning) should also be broadcast.

AUDIENCE ADVISORIES

C: CONTENT MAY OFFEND
L: LANGUAGE MAY OFFEND
V: CONTAINS VIOLENCE
S: SEXUAL CONTENT MAY OFFEND