Even the oldies are enjoying Game of Thrones…Ofcom report on continued public support for the TV watershed and note a significant decline in complaints about sex and violenceEven the oldies are enjoying Game of Thrones…Ofcom report on continued public support for the TV watershed and note a significant decline in complaints about sex and violence

Posted: 6 July, 2014 in Ofcom TV Censor
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Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Ofcom logoOfcom writes:

The watershed is 50 years old this month. In July 1964, Parliament passed the law that led to measures to protect children from seeing harmful or offensive material on TV in the evenings.

Fifty years on, new Ofcom research shows that most adult TV viewers are aware of the 9pm watershed as a valued way of indicating what is suitable for young viewers.

Ofcom’s research shows that 98% of adults in the UK watch TV. Among TV viewers, 94% are aware that the watershed requires broadcasters only to show programmes unsuitable for children after a certain time (compared to 91% in 2008).

Today, more TV viewers believe the watershed is at about the right time (78% in 2013 compared to 70% in 2008), Ofcom’s report on UK audience attitudes to broadcast media shows.

In the past five years, there have been falls in the number of viewers saying there is too much violence (35% of adult viewers in 2013, down from 55% in 2008), sex (26% in 2013 versus 35% in 2008) and swearing (35% in 2013 versus 53% in 2008) on TV.

One reason for this is a change in attitude among older viewers. The number of viewers over 65 who believe there is too much swearing (78% in 2008 compared to 55% in 2013) and violence (75% in 2008 compared to 52% in 2013) has fallen over the past five years.

Among those adults who had been offended by something on TV in the last 12 months (18% of adult viewers), nearly four times more people are likely to continue watching the programme than in 2008 (5% in 2008 versus 19% in 2013) and less likely to turn off the TV altogether (32% in 2008 compared to 19% in 2013). Protecting viewers in the future

While on-demand TV is estimated to account for only 2.5% of TV viewing, Ofcom recognises this poses new challenges.

Ofcom is working with Government, other regulators and industry to ensure that children remain protected if they choose on-demand TV over traditional broadcast TV, where Ofcom’s strict watershed rules apply.

This would mean that consumers have a clear understanding of the protections that apply on different platforms and devices, and know which regulatory body to turn to if they have any concerns.

Of course the moralist campaigners are not impressed by the decline in whinges.

Pippa Smith of Safermedia said the report showed x-rated content has become normalised and viewers are desensitised to it.

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