The following standards apply to all pay television programmes broadcast in New Zealand. ‘Pay’ means television that is for a fee (ie, viewers must pay to view the broadcast signal), whether on a subscription or other transaction basis.
Pay television overall enjoys a less restrictive environment than free-to-air television because of the choice customers make in paying to receive broadcasts. The freedom and capacity of an audience to choose what it views and to be able to prevent children and young people from viewing inappropriate material are significant factors in determining what is, and what is not, acceptable. Violent and potentially offensive material is readily accessible in our society and it follows that some material of this kind will be able to be accessed on television. However, there must be strong protections in place to prevent this material being viewed by children and young people, and strong protections to ensure that it is not inadvertently viewed by those who do not wish to do so. Pay television broadcasters provide these protections through appropriate classifications and warnings, filtering technology, PIN codes and an electronic programme guide.
Additionally, pay television broadcasters may offer channels over which they have no (or little) editorial control (for example, foreign pass-through channels). This limited control of the broadcaster will be an important consideration when assessing whether a programme has breached standards.
The standards in this code should be read and interpreted alongside the Commentary.
If you are thinking about making a complaint under this code, you should also read Complaints Process and Other Guidance.
All broadcasters are expected to retain recordings of all broadcasts for 35 days. In the event of a complaint, this assists the broadcaster to argue their point of view and ensures the BSA gains a correct understanding of the content, context and tone of the broadcast (see 'Broadcasters', page 5 of the Codebook).
You can view the code as a PDF or in HTML text below.
Pay Television Code of Broadcasting Practice
PART 1 - STANDARDS WHICH RELATE TO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES