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PTC Urges Netflix to Toughen Parental Controls

Organization cites T-Mobile giveaway, Disney content exit 9/13/2017 12:33 PM Eastern

Spurred in part by the news that T-Mobile will be giving Netflix to its subscribers (and their families) for free, the Parents Television Council is urging the OTT provider's CEO to employ content protections on the service.

The other spur behind the PTC's ask was Disney's decision to pull its content in favor of its own streaming platform.

"[N]ow is an opportune time for Netflix to recommit to providing families with both abundant, suitable programming choices and adequate parental controls,” PTC president Tim Winter wrote to Netflix chief Reed Hastings.

The PTC released a report last month that concluded that streaming service parental controls are lax, if they exist at all, concluding that makes the services problematic for children.

Related: PTC Says Streaming Services Lack Robust Parental Controls

The PTC suggested Netflix's parental controls need tweaking, including by requiring a passcode to switch from a child's profile to an adult's, and better blocking of adult subscribers' profiles, and adult content, on its mobile app.

The group has also urged Netflix to provide more family-friendly original content; most of the OTT service's originals are rated TV-MA. It also wants Netflix to offer a lower-priced subscription for those who don't want "more explicit" offerings. PTC has long argued that programmers should offer a la carte channels and family-friendly bundles as a way to give viewers more control over content.

“By making these changes, Netflix would become a much more family-friendly environment for the growing legions of cord-cutting parents who are turning to streaming video services for their family entertainment needs," Winter told Hastings. "Not only is this an important matter for your family subscribers, but we believe it to be in Netflix’s strategic financial interest to do more to keep families interested in your service, and to your family market."

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