V-chip plan worries broadcasters

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Thomson Consumer Electronics' plan to market a V-chip TV set that will allow consumers to eliminate unrated content, including all advertising, is bringing threats from broadcasters to abandon the program ratings system. Advertising groups also have expressed deep concern. The National Association of Broadcasters said the original V-chip ratings plan it agreed to allowed viewers to restrict their choices for entertainment programming, but had no effect on unrated programming, including news, sports and TV ads. Thomson's move, however, would allow viewers to automatically cut off all ads, sports and news unless advertisers rated their TV spots. The NAB said Thomson's move could place the program ratings system "in jeopardy."

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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