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The Department of the Interior published these guidelines in the Federal Official Gazette on 21 August 2018, which became effective on 22 August 2018. These guidelines replace the guidelines published on 15 February 2015 and their purpose is to establish rules of content-related matters and the classification criteria that shall be met by licensed companies who provide broadcasting and restricted television and audio services, in accordance with the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law.

The new guidelines for audiovisual content broadcast and restricted television and audio services were published in order to protect the principle of progressive autonomy. This principle consists of recognizing the rights to childhood and adolescence in accordance with their development and maturity since there is the need to create mechanisms that may enable such population to acquire culture, knowledge and to evolve as human beings, always according to the evolutionary development stages and from a progressive autonomy perspective. In addition to paying special attention to childhood, human rights are promoted to guarantee a gender perspective, inclusion and non-discrimination. These mechanisms are a detailed content classification, specifying time slots in which these contents may be broadcast and warnings for the different contents according to their classification.

Please bear in mind that the classification criteria that are exclusive for cinematographic films that were issued by the Department of the Interior on 4 April 2002, through the General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography, are still in effect.

The Federal Law of Cinematography specifies that a Motion Picture is a cinematographic film containing a series of related images captured in a sensitive material, with or without a soundtrack, with sensation of movement, and product of a script and a coordinated direction, which primary purposes are to be projected at movie theaters or similar places and/or to be reproduced for sale or rent.

These guidelines define a Show as a storyline or narrative identity recorded in audiovisual content that is displayed through a film or audio broadcast or a series of episodes within a channel's or station's broadcast scheduling, intended to be broadcast by a Service Provider. 

Who is required to comply with these guidelines?

The content classification criteria shall apply to licensed companies who provide broadcasting or restricted television and audio services, and to programmers (the "Service Providers"), while the obligations concerning time slots will apply only to licensed companies and programmers who offer broadcasting services.

Licensed companies providing restricted television and audio services are not subject to certain time slots; however, they shall inform the audience of the content classification and must warn them about any contents that may not be suitable for children or minors. Therefore, all Service Providers shall show the corresponding title and classification before and in the middle of each show, with a minimum duration of 30 seconds each time.

As to the content classification

The guidelines establish in detail the characteristics of each content classification, which are as follows: i) AA, content suitable for children; ii) A, content suitable for all ages; iii) B, content suitable for teenagers; iii) B15, content suitable for teenagers over 15 years old; iv) C, content not suitable for children under 18 years old; and v) D content for adults only. For this classification, all ages of the audience were established per each content as well as the type of language, level of violence, sexual content and addictions, respectively.

For classifications B15, C and D, broadcasting Service Providers shall submit for the revision and classification of the General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography all recorded material that they want to broadcast. If the shows are about any kind of violence against children, teenagers or women, the Service Providers shall show also information of the authorities and public institutions who provide free specialized services for the attention and protection of this sector.

As to advertisements

The guidelines set forth that the contents of advertisements or trailers shall follow the classification criteria established and shall be transmitted according to the time slots specified, as applicable.

Penalties

Finally, it was established that the penalties for each show incurring in a violation will be an official warning and a fine.

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