Digital age ratings | British Board of Film Classification
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Digital age ratings

Digital age ratings

Why and where to use them

Since 2008, the home entertainment industry and the BBFC have been working together to extend our age ratings to video distributed over the internet. Here’s why:

Digital age ratings are important, because people want to be able to make the same informed purchasing and viewing choices when they’re using digital video services as they do when they’re visiting the cinema, or renting or buying DVDs and Blu-ray.  In research carried out in 2015, 85% of parents agreed this is important to them.

Many digital video services (both licensed and unlicensed by us) require a BBFC age rating before they will make your content available. If you choose to apply for a digital age rating for any content unreleased on DVD, Blu-ray or VHS in the UK, it will increase the number of platforms available for retailing your content.

The benefits are clear

  • Applying to us for digital age ratings is the only way that they can be used for content on digital video services if it hasn’t previously been rated for DVD, Blu-ray or VHS
  • You can obtain all the age ratings data required by key platforms as part of their submission criteria, including the age rating itself and ratings info (take-in link to  ratings info)
  • We have a rapid turnaround and age ratings can be made available in as little as two days after submission
  • The service is also low cost - around 60% cheaper than DVD and Blu-ray submissions

Low cost, legal and trusted

Once content has been classified and given age ratings by the BBFC, you can supply it to digital video services confident that it’ll have a clean bill of health in complying with UK laws including, but not limited to the following:

  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964
  • The Protection of Children Act 1978
  • The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
  • The Public Order Act 1986
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006
  • Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Making proof available

We are working to license all digital video services to make sure that they display our age ratings correctly. While unlicensed services do not display our age ratings, please be aware that they may still ask for proof of BBFC age ratings before they make content available to customers.


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