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Do networks ever send you content review, or do they solicit your input? We have a dialogue with most networks at some level.We can go after a network for something they did that we think was inappropriate, but we will absolutely turn on a dime and support something that’s family-friendly, something positive, something that we can market to our members. Sometimes you will make it sound like you successfully got a show cancelled, like after Fox cancelled the low-rated sitcom , but the next week the ratings went up. I can’t prove that a certain number of people didn’t watch because of our guidance or advisory. All the work of the Parents Television Council, a 19-year-old oft-outraged Los Angeles-based organization that’s probably the best known remaining anti-indecency group around.Some parents appreciate their efforts (about 1.4 million have joined the PTC in some fashion, with about 100,000 actively donating per year).” To me, that’s a real testament to the work that’s being done that edits are being made, content is being toned down. Well, there are no indecency requirements for ad supported basic cable.And a lot of it has to do with the advertisers’ pushback. It’s a self-policing system to please the viewers and advertisers.
Below, PTC president Tim Winter takes our questions. For years we’ve received PTC’s protests, read your reactions to our coverage of their concerns, and heard off-record earfuls about their campaigns from irate network insiders.
Most people do support the idea of a la carte menus on cable. While their content ratings might be sometimes flawed, don’t cable networks deserve some credit for what they are doing voluntarily to hold back, rate and label what they do have?
But what cable networks will point out is doing so will likely lead to many channels of family-friendly programming dying off. We have seen the same show on two different networks rated two different things. So, did I get your question right: “Should we applaud them for sucking less than they might otherwise? Barring obscenity, you’re right, there is no indecency rule on cable.
The biggest motion picture blockbusters are the superheroes and the family-friendly movies. When we write about something you’ve protested, like , readers always say parents should be responsible for the content their kids are watching.
The issue of protecting children from what’s harmful begins and ends with the parent. That doesn’t mean it should be the line of defense.