UltraViolet to Use BBFC Age Ratings for Content

"The Hunger Games"

"Hunger Games'" estimated profit: $1.8 billion

The cloud-based storage giant pacts with the British Board of Film Classification to post age ratings on streaming content.

LONDON -- Cloud-based storage giant UltraViolet has inked a deal with the British Board of Film Classification to have its digital copies carry the censor's age ratings for U.K. users.

The home-entertainment service, which allows DVD and Blu-ray buyers to upload purchases to a digital locker, which can then be viewed at home or on the go on multiple devices and shared, will be displayed with BBFC age ratings.

The British censor labels will also run on the UltraViolet parental control functions, allowing parents to password-protect content rated higher than a particular BBFC age rating.

STORY: UltraViolet to Launch in Germany, France in Fall 

The BBFC ratings range from U for universal through 18 (R in the U.S.) to R18, the NC-17 rating stateside. Recent research conducted indicated that 85 percent of those asked considered it important to have consistent BBFC classifications for video-on-demand content. And that rose to 90 percent among parents of children under 16.

BBFC director David Cooke said: "The flexibility of UltraViolet makes it even more important for users to be able to make informed decisions about what they stream or download, particularly if they have children in their care who might be using the service."

The BBFC said its online workload experienced the greatest changes in 2012.

The number of works submitted to the BBFC for online-only classifications, which are not required by law, increased by 40 percent in 2012. To date, in 2013, online-only classifications are up 135 percent from the same period in 2012, the BBFC said.

The BBFC’s service for streamed and downloaded content was launched in collaboration with the home-entertainment industry in 2008 and provides age ratings, symbols and BBFC insight to set-top box, video-on-demand and other online-content providers.

All films submitted to the BBFC for DVD and Blu-ray release are automatically given an age rating for use on digital platforms, making it easier for the home-entertainment industry to provide consistent age ratings for their customers.

Online-only content, including bonus extras, can be submitted to the BBFC for a digital-only rating under the BBFC’s Watch & Rate service.

The BBFC demanded seven seconds of cuts from The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, to give the picture a 12A rating.

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the company behind Ultraviolet, is a consortium of major Hollywood studios, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers, network hardware vendors, systems integrators and Digital Rights Management (DRM) vendors.