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Programme Classifications and Advisories 

The Free-to-Air Television Code and the Pay Television Code both contain standards with requirements relating to programme classification and advisories (including warnings). The Radio Code contais standards relating to audience advisories. 

These standards require broadcasters to ensure that programmes are appropriately classified, and to consider the use of advisories where appropriate. They also set out the requirements for the broadcast of promos (short advertisements for up-coming programmes).

Timebands and children's viewing/listening times


Radio does not have a classification or timeband system. However, radio broadcasters should issue an audience advisory where the content of a broadcast is outside audience expectations. All radio stations should also moderate their content at times when children are most likely to be listening  in the morning before school, and immediately after school.

Free-to-air television

On free-to-air television children's normal viewing times run until 8.30pm (though these times may differ during weekends and school holidays: see the Children's Interests standard and guidelines). We refer to 8.30pm as the 'Adults Only watershed', after which AO programmes may be screened. The classification guide below explains the timebands for each free-to-air classification.

Pay television

Because of the special choice subscribers make in paying to receive broadcasts, pay television has a less restrictive classification environment and different classifications from free-to-air television (these are explained in the classification guide below). Pay television does not have timebands either, because filtering/parental blocking technology allows parents to control their children's access to certain programmes. Essentially, this means that pay television channels such as SKY can broadcast programmes at any time of the day (so long as they still comply with the standards).

TV classification guides

These one-page guides explain the classifications that are used on television in New Zealand.


For more detailed information see BSA's Practice Note on Programme Classification .