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TV Watch: Parents Want the Remote Control

Parents favor personal interaction over content-blocking technology to monitor their children’s television use, according to TV Watch online poll released Monday.

The poll asked 513 parents with children between the ages of 2-17 to quantify how they manage what their kids watch. Russell Research conducted the poll for the network-backed lobby TV Watch, a group that pushes for parental responsibility (blocking technology, TV ratings and the V-chip, for example) over content regulation.

Of those polled, 91% say they take steps to monitor what their kids see on TV.

Among the tools used: watching TV with children (63%); limiting viewing to certain shows (61%) or certain time periods (55%); using TV ratings (52%), using cable controls (17%), satellite controls (12%) or the v-chip (5%) built into TV sets. 

Most parents in the poll (91%) favored parental involvement as the best way to keep kids from “seeing what they shouldn’t see,” according to a TV Watch release. On the other hand, 9% said government should increase control and enforcement of network television programming.

The study was released on the eve of Tuesday’s day-long Senate Commerce Committee “Open Forum on Decency.” (C-SPAN will air the forum live from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.) The committee is working on a bill to boost indecency fines and the FCC's enforcement powers, as did a House indecency bill that has already been passed.

The Senate Commerce Committee also plans to hold hearings on decency and Internet porn Jan. 19.

The margin of error for the study is +/- 4.3 percent.—John Eggerton contributed to this story