BBC trials guidance labelling for online programmes

The BBC is trialling a new labelling system for its online on-demand content via its integrated Media Player to warn viewers if programming is unsuitable for a pre-watershed audience.

Programmes that contain strong language, sex or violence will have a letter G placed by them in the electronic programming guide. Viewers can click on the G to explain the reason for the label.

Viewers will also have the option of password-protecting G-labelled content as part of the trial.

The labelling system is being introduced as a response to time-shifted programming, which means viewers can watch programmes at any time and the 9pm watershed will no longer prevent children watching potentially harmful programming.

Rachel Hermer, BBC editorial policy adviser, said of the system: "It offers peace of mind to those members of our audience -- particularly parents -- who are concerned with what children watch, without losing the freedom offered by the on-demand environment."

The G label is based on two pieces of BBC research, which concluded that online audiences want a simple, easy-to-use, but information-rich, system that enabled them to make informed choices about what they watch.

The BBC will offer findings from the trial to other broadcasters and operators involved in developing on-demand programmes.

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