Tuesday, February 09, 2016

UK Programmers Commit To Statement Of Practice To Protect On-Demand Viewers

Original COBA Press Release via coba.org.uk:

Content providers commit to Statement of Practice to protect on-demand viewers

Members of the Commercial Broadcasters Association have signed up to a Statement of Practice for Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, committing to make child protection a priority.

The Statement, launched on Safer Internet Day, pledges to provide on-demand viewers with a range of protections and to make on-demand programmes available in a way that supports the child protection tools provided by platforms. Signatories include many of the major on-demand services in the UK and the Statement covers their on-demand services that are accessed through a television.

* The Statement includes a commitment to the highest possible standards in on-demand programmes, comparable to those on broadcast television channels.

* It also commits to supporting television platforms in providing the most robust possible types of protection for on-demand catch-up services, such as pin control mechanisms.

* Finally, signatories commit to provide audiences with information about the age suitability of on-demand programmes, so they can make informed choices about the type of content they and their children watch.

Commenting on the Statement of Practice, Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said:

"Government challenged the industry to find a voluntary and common approach to television content standards, and it is great to see how COBA members are promoting better protection for children, including using pin control settings. Arming parents with details about on-demand television services will help families make more informed decisions about the suitability of programmes."

Tony Close, Ofcom Director of Content Standards, said:

"This industry agreement is a positive and welcome step towards greater protection of children who watch on-demand TV services. Broadcasters play a vital role in ensuring parents have clear information, along with the tools and controls they need to manage their children's access to TV programmes. Ofcom will continue to work closely with industry, Government and other bodies to help protect child audiences."

Adam Minns, Executive Director of COBA, said:

"COBA's Statement of Practice for Video-on-Demand unites many of the most popular on-demand services in the UK for the first time, providing audiences with a clear set of commitments to providing the best possible child protection."

Signatories to this Statement are (in alphabetical order): A+E Networks, Comedy Central, Discovery Networks, Fox International Channels, MTV, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, Sky, Sony Pictures Television Networks, The Walt Disney Company, and Turner.

For more information please visit COBA's website at http://coba.org.uk/our-sector/our-sector/vod. COBA is the UK industry body for commercial broadcasters.

About COBA

The Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA) is the UK industry body for digital, cable and satellite broadcasters and on-demand services.
The multichannel sector is arguably the fastest growing part of the UK television industry.

In the last decade, the sector has increased its turnover by 30% to more than £5 billion a year. This is rapidly approaching half of the UK broadcasting sector's total annual turnover. (1)

The multichannel sector has doubled direct employment over the last decade. (2)

In addition, the sector has increased investment in UK television content to a record £725m per annum, up nearly 50% on 2009 levels. (3)

1) Ofcom International Broadcasting Market Report 2013
2) Skillset, Television Sector – Labour Market Intelligence Profile
3) COBA 2014 Census, Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates for COBA

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