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Broadcast networks fight government censorship

Fearful that the continued indecency campaign against broadcasters will ruin their business, three of the largest television networks have mounted a public relations counterattack against government censorship.

The networks are backing the TV Watch coalition, a group that opposes government control of television programming and promotes the use of parental controls as a way to protect children from questionable program content.

Included among its members are NBC Universal, News Corp., Viacom and the Creative Coalition. The Walt Disney Co., parent of ABC, is not a member. The coalition seeks to counter such groups as the Parents Television Council and the American Family Association, which have filed most of the indecency complaints with the FCC.

As its initial act, TV Watch released a national poll that said the public prefers parental responsibility to government control. By a ratio of 8-to-1, respondents believe that “more parental involvement” is a better solution to keeping kids from seeing adult content than increase government control.

TV Watch is founded on the premise that common sense, personal taste and personal values should dictate what content is viewed in an individual’s home. Surveys show, however, that 50 percent of Americans are using the ratings, but few know they have parental controls like the v-chip and even fewer people actually use the available tools.

The complete findings of the national survey conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and the Luntz Research Companies is available at

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