Video on Demand: Age Ratings

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th April 2021.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the level of expectation among parents that VOD platforms should ensure that their film and TV content is age-rated in line with the BBFC's standards for content released in cinemas and on DVD.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if his Department will take steps to support the adoption of BBFC age-rating standards for content on video on demand platforms.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the barriers to (a) Disney+ and (b) other platforms to prevent them from using BBFC's best practice guidelines.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

As the designated body for age classification of film content, the Government has great trust in the British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) best practice age ratings and continues to support the adoption of BBFC ratings for content on video on demand platforms.

While adoption of the BBFC’s age ratings by such platforms is currently voluntary, we welcome their usage and were particularly pleased to see Netflix announce on 1 December 2020 that they have become the first platform to achieve complete coverage of their content under the BBFC’s ratings.

The Government has not made any specific assessment regarding parents’ expectations of video-on-demand platforms’ content being classified in line with the BBFC's standards, or the barriers that platforms face to adopting the ratings. We note, however, that the BBFC regularly consults with the public and publishes its research online. The Government continues to engage with platforms to adopt the BBFC’s ratings across all of their content, and will keep the evidence for legislation in this area under review.

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