Sky TV is launching a new service for its Sky Q subscribers that will help make its TV packages safer and more child-friendly for families with young children.
Working in partnership with Common Sense Media, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families, Sky’s new Parents’ Guide provides more details about each movie available on its service, helping parents to make better-informed choices about which movies they can watch with their children.
Rating guides are fairly commonplace amongst digital TV providers, and the ability to limit viewing access to children under a certain age is widely available on both pay TV and broadband internet services. Sky’s new Parents’ Guide takes it one step further by helping families to choose movies that are not only age-appropriate but also educational.
The Parents’ Guide is visible on the Sky Q sidebar menu, revealing a zero to five rating for each film available in both Sky Cinema and the Sky Store. The seven categories are as below:
Parents are then able to judge at a glance if the movie has the right sort of message and content for their children.
Common Sense Media has personally reviewed each movie to build detailed category ratings specifically for children’s movies. Each movie will be assessed on the basis of its classification and target audience in mind. For example, if a 12-rated movie is awarded five stars for violence, then it’s a film that 12-year olds could find especially violent whilst adults may think it’s milder.
Stephen van Rooyen, CEO of Sky UK & Ireland said, “The New Parents’ Guide, which provides expert guidance on everything from the educational value of a movie through to the violence it contains, adds to the wide range of products we offer to safety-conscious parents. From toddlers to teens, it is our responsibility to keep families safe on Sky – we’ve launched Broadband Buddy so families can manage their internet access, while kids can safely watch their favourite characters on the Sky Kids app.”
Jill Murphy, Common Sense Media, said, “Our goal is to give Sky customers trusted information, so they can decide what movies work for them. Our ratings are based on child development and what they are ready for, no matter what the age classification says. Beyond violence and bad language, we also look at how characters talk to each other, if they’re respectful towards each other and their parents. What one five-year-old may enjoy, another may find upsetting, so we want to take some of the guesswork out of this process.”
Sky already has a suite of products that ensure children’s safety, both when online and watching TV. This includes Kids Safe Mode on Sky Q and the Sky Kids app, as well as Broadband Buddy, which lets families manage each screen in their home.
The Sky Parents’ Guide is already being rolled out to Sky Q customers, and will aim to be in all Sky Q homes by the end of August 2019.