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On Screen Classification

Viewers of RTÉ One and RTÉ Two may have noticed small icons in the top left hand corner of their screens. The icons appear for 20 seconds at the start of programmes. This signals the beginning of a unique initiative which will see RTÉ gradually move to a situation where most programmes will be classified as to content.

The system is an information service to television viewers, letting them know more about the content of scheduled programmes so that they can make informed decisions to view or not to view. Childrens and young adults' programmes will be labelled as such. Programmes with explicit sex or violence more suited to a mature audience will not merely be scheduled after the 9pm watershed but will be flagged on screen.

There will be five classes:

General Audience (GA) - a programme that would be acceptable to all ages and tastes.

Children (Ch) - a programme aimed specifically at children, i.e. the pre-teenage or very young teenage audience.

Parental supervision (PS) - a programme aimed at a mature audience, i.e. It might deal with adult themes, be moderately violent, frightening or contain an occasional swear word.) and the classification label invites parents or guardians to consider restricting children's access.

Suggested for mature audience (MA) - a typical "post-watershed" programme which might contain scenes of sexual activity or violence, or the dialogue might be profane.

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