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PTC: Streamers May Need Content Rules

A child streams content on his phone while wearing headphones.
(Image credit: Cavan Images via Getty Images)

The Parents Television Council is urging U.S. streamers to take a page from Britain when it comes to more uniform control of on-demand content.

According to a report, that country is contemplating imposing rules for streamed content from U.S. imports including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus similar to those for broadcast content. Currently, over-the-top content is out of the reach of the FCC.

“Our research of top streaming services has also found that content ratings, and other age-gating mechanisms, are wildly inconsistent in the U.S. market," PTC President Tim Winter said. "We are glad to see Britain’s similar concerns being elevated. Streaming services should adopt similar standards as other TV platforms, and eagerly commit to putting best practices in place to better serve their users."

He said streaming services have to commit to doing a better job of providing parental controls and should advocate for more consistent standards.

PTC has moved its focus from broadcast content to over-the-top and has been calling for better parental controls given the rise in popularity of streaming video.

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.