Classifications and timebands Ngā Kōmakatanga me ngā Takiwātanga

Guidance on classifications and timebands

Classifications and timebands

Download a classification guide (Free-to-air TV) - Various languages
2020 FTA Classifications icon
English pdf (43 KB)
Te Reo Download
Te Reo pdf (140 KB)
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Mandarin 汉语 pdf (297 KB)
Other languages icon
Samoan Gagana Sāmoa pdf (46 KB)
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Korean 한국어 pdf (77 KB)
Download a classification guide (Pay TV) - Various languages
PAY TV CLASSIFICATIONS v2
English pdf (28 KB)
Te Reo Download
Te Reo pdf (141 KB)
Other languages icon
Mandarin 汉语 pdf (249 KB)
Other languages icon
Samoan Gagana Sāmoa pdf (34 KB)
Other languages icon
Korean 한국어 pdf (55 KB)

Programme classifications and audience advisories


The Broadcasting Standards Codebook contains requirements regarding programme classification and audience advisories (including warnings) on free-to-air TV and pay TV. For radio, the requirements relate to audience advisories.

Broadcasters must ensure programmes are appropriately classified and consider the use of audience advisories where appropriate. The Codebook also includes requirements for the broadcast of promos (short adverts for upcoming programmes). This is to ensure audiences are properly informed about programme content and can make appropriate choices on what children should watch.

Timebands and children's viewing/listening times


Radio


Radio doesn’t have a classification or timeband system. However, radio stations should issue an audience advisory where the content is outside audience expectations. Stations should also moderate their content at times when children are most likely to be listening – in the morning before and immediately after, school.

Free-to-air TV


On free-to-air TV children's normal viewing times usually run until 8.30pm (though times may differ during weekends and school holidays: see the Children's Interests standard and guidelines). Different classifications can play at different times throughout the day and evening, referred to as timebands. M content can only be played during the day on weekdays when children are at school, and after 7.30pm. M content cannot be shown during the day on weekends, or school or public holidays. We refer to 8.30pm as the ‘watershed', after which programmes rated 16 can be screened. Programmes rated 18 can only be screened after 9.30pm. The classification guide above explains the timebands for each free-to-air classification.

Pay TV


Because of the special choice subscribers make in paying to receive broadcasts, pay TV has had a different classification environment from free-to-air TV. The classification labels are consistent across both. But pay TV does not have timebands, as it has long-established audience expectations over the promotion and use of parental locks, classifications and advisories. Essentially, this means subscription channels such as Sky can broadcast programmes at any time of the day with the expectation that classifications and advisories are used and parental locks are promoted.