What Does TV MA Mean?


TV-MA” is a television rating level. TV-MA rated means that programs are created for a mature audience only. Some content may not be appropriate for children under 17 due to strong and intense violence and particularly vulgar language. This rating is very rarely used by broadcast networks or local television because of FCC restrictions on program content, although it may be applied on some cable channels such as HBO and Showtime in their pornographic programs. Nowadays TV-MA is also used on internet services like Netflix for its TV shows and movies. This classification was referred to as TV-M in 1997 but was changed to avoid confusion with a similar “M for Mature” classification in the video game classification system used by ESRB12. The FCC warns that “parents need to be aware of these programs and are advised not to let a child under the age of 17 watch them.

TV Parental Guidelines Origins and Meaning

The TV parental guidelines were first proposed on December 19, 1996, after expressed concerns from parents regarding the significant increase of graphic violence, sexual content, and strong profanity in American TV programs. The TV parental guidelines went into effect by January 1, 1997, on most broadcast and cable networks. The system is used for most television series, films, made-for-television films, etc. but has since been applied to internet stream services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

TV-MA is the most restrictive rating a program can get. This means that the program contains coarse language, sexual content, and strong violence. TV-MA means that the program is only suited for an adult audience.

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