Netflix to set its own age ratings for streaming shows and movies in new partnership with BBFC

James Warrington
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'Roma' Red Carpet & Screening In Mexico City
The ratings will apply to Netflix original films, such as Roma, as well as TV series (Source: Getty)

Netflix will be granted powers to set the official age ratings for its film and TV programmes as part of a new partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

The streaming giant will use an automated rating algorithm, alongside a manual tagging system, to apply official UK age ratings to its original films and TV series.

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The partnership is the first time a company has been granted independent authority to set ratings with the BBFC’s blessing.

The BBFC said the move will help ensure there is greater consistency across on-demand video and online gaming platforms.

Chief executive David Austin said: “Our research clearly shows a desire from the public to see the same trusted ratings they expect at the cinema, on DVD and on Blu-ray when they choose to watch material online.

“We know that it’s not just parents who want age ratings, teenagers want them too. We want to work with the industry to ensure that families are able to make the right decisions for them when watching content online.”

The new system will be trialled over a year-long pilot and will see ratings such as PG, 12 and 18 applied to Netflix films and TV shows.

The BBFC said it will carry out regular checks on Netflix to ensure its standards are being maintained.

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Mike Hastings, director of editorial creative at Netflix, said: "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.

“Our work with the BBFC allows us to ensure our members always press play on content that is right for them and their families.”