On 21 August 2018 the Ministry of the Interior issued the Guidelines for the Audiovisual Content Classification of Broadcasting Transmissions and Pay Television and Audio Services.

The guidelines entered into force on 22 August 2018, replacing the previous guidelines published on 15 February 2017, which had in turn replaced the guidelines published on 4 November 2015. The changes to the initial 2015 guidelines are the result of numerous lawsuits.

In particular, the 2015 guidelines dramatically increased the hours during which a programme or ad can be broadcast depending on its rating, leading to legal disputes to protect child audiences. Specifically, the 2015 guidelines established the following times when a programme or ad can be broadcast:

  • 4:00pm for Rating B (previously 8:00pm);
  • 7:00pm for Rating B15 (previously 9:00pm); and
  • 9:00pm for Rating C (previously 10:00pm).

The 2018 guidelines (as with the 2017 guidelines) maintain the above broadcast times. However, they have increased the duration of the parental warning from 15 to 30 seconds.

The guidelines aim to establish rules regarding content and the rating criteria that programmers and concessionaires that provide broadcasting or pay television and audio services under the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law.

The above service providers must observe and apply the rating criteria established in the guidelines for any material recorded in Mexico or abroad, in any format, for programming and advertising purposes.

Notably, concessionaires that provide pay television and audio services are not subject to the prescribed broadcast times; however, they must inform the audience of the rating of each programme or ad and warn them of content that could be inappropriate or improper for children. The Ministry of the Interior's General Direction of Radio, Television and Cinematography of the Ministry of Interior is in charge of ensuring that the rating provided by service providers in their programming and advertising is consistent with the criteria established in the guidelines.

For further information on this topic please contact Federico Hernández Arroyo at Hogan Lovells BSTL by telephone (+52 55 5091 0000) or email (federico.hernandez@hoganlovells.com). The Hogan Lovells website can be accessed at www.hoganlovells.com.

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