What Does TV MA Mean? All The Details

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What Does TV MA Mean

TV-MA stands for “TV Mature Audience”. It is a television rating that indicates the program is intended for mature audiences and may not be suitable for children under the age of 17. The rating is typically given to programs that contain graphic violence, sexual content, strong language, or other adult themes. The TV-MA rating is the highest rating for television programming, and it is similar to the R rating used for movies. It is important for parents and guardians to be aware of the TV ratings and to monitor what their children watch to ensure that it is appropriate for their age and maturity level.

As such, TV shows, programs, and movies are categorized to buffer kids from explicit content. TV-MA is a result of the campaign to protect children from inappropriate content, including:

  • Sex
  • Drugs
  • Violence
  • Suggestive dialogue/language

 TV MA is content for the mature audience, meaning it’s unsuitable for underage children. The age varies depending on the country. In some countries, the age is capped at 17, while in others, it’s at 18.

What Is TV MA?

TV MA means content for ‘’Mature Audience Only’’. These are shows that are best suited for adults and not underage children. These programs may have violence, foul language, and sexual content, thus not ideal for kids aged 17 and below. 

The defining age for these shows is different in the USA, Canada, and the UK, but in most instances, it’s 18 years.

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TV Rating Scale

TV rating scale refers to the different categories of TV shows depending on the content they offer as designed by content descriptors. The classification varies with every program. These ratings are as follows:

  • TV-Y: This is meant for all children.
  • TV-Y7 FV: Directed to older children- contains fantasy violence
  • TV-Y7: Purposely directed to older children.
  • TV-G: This is for the general audience.
  • TV-PG: Here, parental guidance is recommended
  • TV-14: Parents Strongly Cautioned here.
  • TV MA: This one is for the Mature Audience Only.

What Is TV MA Age?

Consumers of TV MA content should be mature and aged 17 or 18 and above, depending on the country.  

The possible availability of inappropriate content such as coarse language, graphic violence, or explicit sexual activity occasions the restriction.


Although they are comparable, TV MA and R are two different system ratings. TV MA is content for people above the age of 17 or 18, and above. 

In contrast, R-rated contents are programs viewed by individuals under 17 or 18 but only under parental, guardian, or adult supervision.

The most significant difference between TV MA and R-rated content is that the former can be worse. In some cases, it may contain no filters leading to brief nudity.

TV MA Vs. NC-17

TV MA is restricted to the mature audience, and NC-17 is the stricter and highest rating according to the Motion Pictures Association.

The ratings often come in handy due to graphic sex or violent content. NC-17 means No Children under 17. As such, they can’t watch these shows in theaters or on digital platforms like Netflix.

Is R or MA worse?

Since MA can be both R-rated and NC-17-rated material, MA can be considered strict and worse than an R-rating due to the highly graphic content present.

MA deals with more adult content, making it more inappropriate for children. 

Is TV-rated R Better Than MA?

The two ratings are equivalent, but R may be more appropriate since MA is more explicit. TV MA rating will primarily alert you if the content program is unsuitable for an audience under 17.

R-rating lies between NC-17 and PG-13, which means suitable for audiences aged 13 years and can still be for those under 17. It often comes in handy with a suggestion to watch under the supervision of an adult due to the content.

Can 12-Year-Olds Watch TV MA?

With TV MA being a mature audience-only rating and 12 years being below the allowed age, the content in this program is automatically unsuitable for this age.

Even with parental guidance, TV MA would still be unsuitable for this age as it might affect the kid psychologically from the explicit exposure to the contents of these programs.

Is TV MA Inappropriate?

The answer to whether TV MA is appropriate or not depends on the viewer’s age. It may be inappropriate for kids under the age of 17 or 18, but not unsuitable for adults.

Children may not be in a position to choose right or wrong. It may be difficult for them to select what to consume from the TV shows and what to leave out. On the other hand, adults can choose what to follow from the program and what to leave behind. 

In some instances, the content still gets to the children, even with all the regulations put in place. The fact that children can sometimes still access unsuitable content even with TV MA restrictions makes it dangerous.  

What Does TV MA Mean on Netflix?

It means ‘’For Mature Audience,” just like in TV shows.  The movies and programs may not be suitable for people under 17.

Before you can start enjoying the movie, you’ll get a warning that the content you’re about to watch includes uncensored sex scenes, bloodshed, coarse language, and explicit violence. 

Examples of movies on Netflix with TV MA ratings include Dark, Black Mirror, and The Umbrella Academy. 

What Does TV MA Mean on Disney Plus? 

It’s a parental guideline for shows that have content for a mature audience. An example of a show classified under TV MA is Euphoria.

You can activate the TV MA rating by logging in to your account and activating parental control settings.

What Does TV-14 Mean?

It means shows containing materials most parents would find unsuitable for children under 14. Programs with this rating have sexual content, violence, strong coarse language, or suggestive dialogue. 

What Does TV- PG Mean?

TV shows or programs with this rating are meant for all audiences. Often the content may be of no harm to children because the shows have little to no sexual dialogue, mild language, or violence.

TV MA and other ratings such as TV-14 and R-ratings caution different audiences due to the content harbored in them. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the different restrictions. 

TV MA has been of great help in parenting, and platforms with this kind of regulation mean so much to the modern world—TV shows, programs, and movies that don’t have these ratings expose children to unhealthy content. 


In today’s world, it’s essential to filter what your children can watch on the TV and what they shouldn’t access. Otherwise, they may get exposed to inappropriate content, including sexual scenes, violence, and vulgar language. Besides shaping their behavior, some of the contents may be psychologically traumatizing. 

TV MA is handy in filtering TV shows and programs for mature audiences. It ensures that children below 17 or 18 cannot access such content, depending on the country.

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