TV networks tout V-chip technology

April 4, 2004

The major U.S. television networks, reacting to an election year political backlash over program decency, has announced they will air advertisements promoting "V-chip" technology designed to let parents control shows that could be considered offensive.

The Advertising Council, a nonprofit group, will work with NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox to produce public service announcements tailored to each network on the V-chip, which is required in all televisions with screens 13 inches or larger, Reuters reported. The networks will also establish Web sites with ratings information and instructions on how to program the chip.

The chip allows viewers to block programming from their TVs based on the content ratings system used by the TV broadcasting industry. Reuters reported that less than 10 percent of parents use the V-chip in their TVs and about 80 percent of parents who have TVs with the chip are unaware of it.

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