What Does TV MA Mean?


“TV-MA” is a television rating level that means that programs are created for a mature audience only. This means that the 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-MA is the most restrictive rating a program can get. This means that the program contains vulgar language, sexual content, and strong violence. TV-MA means that the program is only suited for an adult audience.

Why do TV networks use the MA rating?

TV networks use the MA rating to identify programs that may not be suitable for children. This rating is used in addition to other ratings, such as PG and TV-14, to make sure that programs are appropriate for different age groups.

The MA rating is determined by the content and intensity of violence, language and sexual content. TV networks are required to place this rating on their program packaging and advertising. Parents can determine whether a program is appropriate for their child by checking the MA rating.

It’s also helpful for people who want to watch adult-oriented shows without having to hide them under the covers.

Which is worse rated R or TV-MA?

TV-MA is more strict rated R. TV-MA means that a person under 17 is not allowed to watch the content. Theaters showing movies under the TV-MA rating similar to NC-17 will not allow anyone under 17 to access the theater even if they are accompanied by an adult in contrast to the R rating where under 17 are allowed if accompanied by a parent.

Is TV-MA the same as PG 13?

PG-13 means that a movie or a video game is forbidden for people under 13 years old, contrary to the TV-Ma where the prohibition is for people under 17 years old as it contains more violent or vulgar content.

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.


In conclusion, the TV MA rating is an indication that a program is not appropriate for children. If you see a program with this rating, it is best to avoid watching it in front of your children. Parents should be aware of the content of TV programs before allowing their children to watch them. Additionally, parents should be sure to discuss the content of any questionable programs with their children in order to help them better understand what they are watching.

See also: How To Program A Universal Remote With Any TV

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