A special White House summit involving President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and heads of America’s major broadcast concerns has moved the TV industry one step closer to a formalized ratings system, meant principally to alert parents to levels of violence and sex in TV programming.
But while the industry seems to have accepted the inevitability of some form of ratings system, and the much-discussed V-chip screening device will likely be a reality in TV sets within two years, there is much more doubt than certainty in the aftermath of the Feb. 29 meeting.
Who will actually handle the classification system? What impact will this have on audience measurement and ad rates, particularly when shows can be blocked from some viewers?
At the same time, Clinton and Gore were said to have ech’ed the refrain of FCC chairman Reed Hundt in calling for more children’s educational programming.
So while broadcasters have moved somewhat in response to government concerns, in many respects, the work has just begun.