Netflix Teams With British Ratings Board to Classify Content on U.K. Service

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Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos

New research shows that 80 percent of parents in the U.K. are concerned about children seeing inappropriate content on VOD services.

Netflix is set to include age ratings on its U.K. service following a new partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

Under the arrangement, the streaming giant will produce BBFC age ratings for its content using a manual tagging system along with an automated rating algorithm, with the BBFC taking up an auditing role.

Netflix and the BBFC will work together to make sure Netflix's classification process produces ratings which are consistent with the BBFC's classification guidelines for the U.K.

The move comes as new research by the BBFC and the Video Standards Council Rating Board has revealed that almost 80 percent of parents in the U.K. are concerned about children seeing inappropriate content on VOD or online game platforms.

The research also showed that 90 percent of parents believe that it is important to display age ratings when downloading or streaming a film online, and 92 percent think it’s important for VOD platforms to show the same type of age ratings they would expect at the cinema or on DVD and Blu-ray.

"The BBFC is a trusted resource in the UK for providing classification information to parents and consumers and we are excited to expand our partnership with them," said Mike Hastings, Netflix's director of editorial creative. "Our work with the BBFC allows us to ensure our members always press play on content that is right for them and their families."

Added the U.K.'s digital minister Margot James: "Our ambition is for the U.K. to be the safest place to be online, which means having age ratings parents know and trust applied to all online films and video games. I welcome the innovative collaboration announced today by Netflix and the BBFC, but more needs to be done."