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PTC Pans Content Descriptors

The Parents TV Council released a study  to coincide with the National Association of Broadcasters convention Monday that takes aim at the industry's v-chip/ratings system.

PTC helped prompt the FCC indecency crackdown with complaints over broadcast programming and has an ally in FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. In defending its profanity rulings in court, the commission has said the V-chip is in effective, in part because of inconsistently applied ratings.

That was PTC's point Monday, arguing that the system is "grossly unreliable" and pointing to a study it said revealed that two-thirds of the shows they had looked at didn't have the "appropriate content descriptors."

The study was announced by Tim Winter, PTC President, who was in Las Vegas to appear on a panel with broadcasters to talk about the indecency issue. "While parents continue to be the first and best line of defense against inappropriate or indecent programming, the industry must be forced to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for the products it delivers to every home in the nation," Winter said in a statement on the study, which looked at all prime time entertainment programming [no sports or news] on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW and MyNetworkTV during the November and February sweeps.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.