In 1987, the FCC introduced a stricter definition of indecency, defined as “language or material that depicts or describes in context obviously offensive terms, as measured by contemporary community standards for broadcast medium, sexual or excretive activity, or organs.” The FCC also removed the previous 10:00 p.m. watershed, saying the ban would apply whenever there was “a reasonable risk of children being in the public.” In 1988, at the request of the United States Congress, the FCC announced that it would completely ban the dissemination of indecent material without shelter. [35] [39] [40] In 1991, the FCC`s proposed 24-hour ban was struck down as unconstitutional by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. [41] The Telecommunications Act of 1992 reintroduced a Safe Harbor period for indecent content between midnight and 6:00 a.m. the next morning. The period was extended until 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. after D.C. circuit decisions. [35] Opinions on the literal geographic significance of the watershed are divided.

On one side of the debate, there are those who think the word can only refer to a ridge that separates rivers and streams flowing in one direction from those flowing in the opposite direction. This is the original meaning of the term, which is probably borrowed from the translation of the German watershed. On the other side of the argument, there are those who believe that the watershed can also apply to the area through which this divided water flows. The latter meaning is much more common in America today, but most Americans seem to have decided to leave the dispute to geologists and geographers, while figuratively using the term “turning point.” In some countries, watersheds are imposed by broadcasting laws. Cultural differences around the world cause these turning times to vary. For example, the rotation time in Australia is 19:30 (19:30) and in Italy 22:30 (22:30). In some countries, the calendar is divided into several periods with progressively fewer restrictions. In addition, some countries are more lenient towards subscription television and radio or pay-per-view channels than free-to-air channels. Complications related to Australian time zones cause this to vary slightly in some areas. For example, if New South Wales has DST, New South Wales-based broadcasters broadcasting to Queensland`s Gold Coast would effectively move watersheds an hour earlier because Queensland does not observe daylight saving time.

However, complaints from Gold Coast residents forced these broadcasters to postpone prime-time programming by one hour to compensate. Although the tipping point begins at 10:00 p.m. during prime time, broadcast networks have since avoided indecent content to avoid dismissals from their affiliates and advertisers, and due to the constant fluctuation of indecency standards to account for changes in FCC acceptance and enforcement. [36] [44] [45] In 2011 and 2012, courts struck down fines for a brief scene of male nudity in a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue, as well as fines for fleeting swearing during a live awards show broadcast by Fox in 2002, ruling that the FCC`s basis for fines was too vague. [46] [47] [48] More information on the significance of both assessments is available here. Broadcasting time immediately after 9:00 p.m. should be considered as a graduation phase towards more adult material, and due account must be taken of the possible presence of children in the audience. [16] More nuanced limits may also be applied; For example, RTÉ has released a trailer for the horror movie Paranormal Activity that will air after 7 p.m., except during the Saturday night movie that many kids watch.

[19] Virgin Media One operates what it calls “the internationally accepted watershed” at 9:00 p.m. [20] Broadcasting is not a turning point. [21] In Germany, content suitable for children aged 16 and over is allowed between 22:00 and 06:00 and for adults (aged 18 and over) between 23:00 and 06:00. Programmes marked “No youth rating” by the FSK rating agency can therefore only be broadcast after 23:00. Blacklisted films cannot be shown at any time. Some content rated 12 and above is allowed between 20:00 and 06:00, but there is no general turning point for this content. In Spain, the watershed is easier than in many other countries because there is only one watershed period, but there is a four-level age classification system that is used alongside it. The notes used in Spain are “All”, “7”, “12”, “16” and “18”.

However, only 18 rated programs are restricted. Programs rated 18 are only allowed between 22:00 and 06:00 and must emit a warning sound before being broadcast. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters` Code of Ethics and Code of Violence states that broadcasters may not broadcast programming that contains violence, sexually explicit material, or coarse or offensive language intended for an adult audience, outside of the “late viewing period,” which is defined as programming that begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 5:30 a.m. the following day. Programs that start before 9:00 p.m. are considered a pre-watershed, even if they fall within that period. In terms of time zones, the watershed is based on the time zone from which the signal originates. There is no turning point for broadcasting; Broadcasters are prohibited from broadcasting content that glorifies violence, inappropriate foul language or inappropriate sexually explicit material. [3] In Venezuela, the watershed starts at 23:00 and ends at 05:00 the next morning and is called “adult time” according to Article 7 of the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media. [49] During this prohibition, adult programming may be broadcast as long as it does not contain hardcore pornography, political or religious intolerance, racism or xenophobia.

[50] A notable break from the turning point occurred in 1976, during a live interview on Bill Grundy`s Today Show, when members of the Sex Pistols uttered obscenities to Grundy. Here is a list of rotation times in each country, starting with the earliest and ending with the laterest. The table only contains the last phase up to the beginning of the watershed (in Australia, for example, MA15+ and AV15+ shows are not allowed until 20:30. The one for AV15+ emissions would be the only one included in the table). Similarly, the table contains only the first phase of the watershed to the end. Some countries may share the same time frame for completing the final phase, and the conflicting boxes will then be sorted by end time. India currently has no watershed. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is responsible for regulating television programmes.

The current law allows the broadcasting of material classified with a U certificate (universal certificate) on television, but the law is regularly flouted. [8] The government temporarily ordered individual programs and films to be broadcast between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. [9] In the past, there have been several proposals to introduce a daily shift between 11pm and 5am when “A” (Adults Only) rated programmes can be broadcast, but all previous proposals have been rejected by the government. [10] Greece uses a system of colour-coded three-level and five-level stickers which are displayed at the beginning and at regular intervals during all programmes except news bulletins. If a commercial broadcaster wishes to broadcast a programme that is not classified by the FSK, the turning point of the programme is assessed by the FSF (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen).

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