NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Parents Find TV Ratings Valuable

Parents Find TV Ratings Valuable

parental ratings

In today's vibrant TV marketplace, every viewer--children included--can find content tailored to their unique tastes and preferences. But more importantly, cable programmers and content creators know how important it is for kids to grow up watching shows that are not only educational, stimulating and fun, but age appropriate as well. The TV Parental Guidelines, which are labels shown in the upper left corner of the screen at the start of a program and often after commercial breaks, were established to help parents choose programming that they feel is right for their kids. 

A recent survey reveals that this ratings system holds a lot of value for most parents nationwide – 94 percent of parents are satisfied with the TV Parental Guidelines, and nearly nine in 10 parents said they find the ratings helpful. 

9 in 10 Parents

find the TV ratings system helpful

The study conducted on behalf of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board is issued every few years to track how parents are using the ratings to help make decisions about what their children watch on TV. Modeled after the movie ratings system, the TV Parental Guidelines are designed to be easy to identify on TV shows and to help parents assess whether content is age appropriate for their child. The labels that appear on the screen provide viewing guidance based on a child’s age and also include information about whether a show contains violence, adult language, sexual situations or suggestive dialogue. 

The latest findings also indicate that awareness and understanding of the TV ratings system remain high. Fully 90 percent of parents report being aware that cable and broadcast networks provide parental ratings for programs, and 86 percent said they know to look for these ratings on the screen at the beginning of a show. Parents of younger children (2-5 years old) reported higher usage of the TV ratings system (80 percent), while 63 percent of parents with older children (ages 16-17) said they use the ratings.

80% of Parents

with children 2-5 years old use the TV Parental Guidelines

Notably, the results show that streaming TV on a variety of devices continues to rise among children, with 83 percent of parents responding that their child streams programming either to a TV, smartphone, tablet, computer, or gaming console. 

For more information on the TV Parental Guidelines, visit