Free TV Australia, representing the major free-to-air stations - Nine, Seven and Ten - calls to remove ban on M-Rated content saying that the 8:30 pm start for M-rated content is already obsolete.
Google TV [credit: Brian Bilek through Flickr.com; license terms at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en]
"Free TV recommends the removal of time zone restrictions for commercial free-to-air television broadcasters, on a staged basis if necessary. The requirement to only show certain content at certain times of the day is outdated and puts commercial free-to-air broadcasters at a disadvantage in terms of their scheduling strategies.
The provision of two advertisement-free, dedicated, government-funded children's channels (ABC2 and ABC3) significantly reduces the need for interventions on the commercial free-to-air channels directed towards protecting children. They provide ad-free spaces for all Australians where children are guaranteed protection from age-inappropriate or harmful content," as stated in Free TV's submission statement to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
In an interview with ABC's Caroline Winter, Free TV Australia CEO Julie Flynn explains further Free TV's rationale on their submission to ACMA.
"We live in a very different world today, where people are accessing content across a range of devices, much of which is not regulated, some of which is a little bit regulated, and because people have the capacity to watch what they want when they want, the time zone is past its use-by date.
Before the advent of the internet, before the advent of pay TV even, before the advent of high speed broadband. Children can watch on a vast array of content delivery platforms," Ms Flynn said.
However, child rights advocates say that the petition can open risks of exposing children to sex and violence.
"The family in Australia has always relied on being able to turn up at home in the evening and switch on the TV and know that there'll be something that's not going to harm or disturb the children. They'll no longer be able to have that confidence," said Elizabeth Handsley of the Australian Council on Children and the Media.
"This will be exposing children to adult concepts which they're not developmentally able to manage. Although the classification systems are there, media's renowned for pushing boundaries and once time zones are relaxed, you can imagine what sort of material is going to flood our televisions during the day," explained Lesley Ey from the University of South Australia.
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