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Christian Media Poll of Christians on TV Watershed

ComRes surveyed 519 UK Christians online from 8th and 30th March 2012 on the TV Watershed.

Date Published: 15 May 2012

Categories: Media | Public and communities | Social | UK


TV's 9-00pm watershed is out of date say UK Christians

Most Christians believe that the 9-00pm TV watershed is ineffective, as a result of the popularity of new technology like the iPlayer, ITV Player and 40D, according to a new research.
79% of UK Christians  believe that with new technology such as iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD the 9pm watershed is ineffective at protecting children from inappropriate television material, according to a new ComRes poll for Premier Christian Media Trust.
"The so-called watershed is only effective for real-time TV while so much of what children watch is recorded, for viewing at their leisure, with no adult restrictions," says Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Media Trust. "In these circumstances a 9-00pm embargo on inappropriate TV material is totally redundant and utterly pointless."
The Watershed identifies the times when television programmes should not be broadcast that might be unsuitable for children. Outlined by Ofcom, it states that on free-to-air television in the UK it is between 21:00 and 05:30, with premium or pay-per-view services starting the watershed at 20:00.
Pippa Smith of Safermedia agrees that the watershed is largely ineffective: ‘For many years children have been able to see post-watershed programmes because they are often up later than the watershed, and they have had TVs in their bedrooms and video recorders. One notable case was when the popular teen Soap Hollyoaks introduced a late night version, one episode of which featured a male rape (March 2000).  Trailed at 6pm, children then recorded this and passed it around in the playground.  
Even responsible parents can find it very difficult to control their children’s exposure, IPlayer, 4OD etc have parental controls but, according to official figures,  few parents are aware or set them and it is far too easy for a child to simply tick a box and lie about their age to access  ‘adult’ material.  Broadcasters should apply rigorous age verification.’
Miranda Suit, also of Safermedia comments: ‘The watershed can still be a useful tool for the parents of very young children, and Ofcom must not allow it to become any weaker.  Ofcom should also give parents far more help with protecting older children and teens from harmful TV content.  TV is the gateway to other screen-based media including the internet, and there is no excuse for broadcasting pornography even after the watershed.’
The survey was commissioned on the back of Safetynet – the campaign launched by Premier Christian Media Trust in partnership with Safermedia in a bid to protect children from internet pornography. The campaign calls on the Government to introduce legislation to ensure that ISPs filter pornography at source - it has gathered nearly 100,000 signatures.

Methodology: ComRes surveyed 519 UK Christians on the ComRes Cpanel between 8th and 30th March 2012 by online questionnaire. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. The data were weighted UK denomination, as defined in the 2005 Church Census. Full data tables available at


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