What Does TV MA Mean

What Does TV-MA Mean? Understanding TV Ratings



Television programs are rated based on their content to help viewers make informed choices about what they watch. Just like in our previous article about TV-14 ratings, TV-MA is one of the most restrictive ratings assigned to television programs. In this article, we’ll explain what TV-MA means and what kind of content you can expect from a program with this rating.

As you explore the world of television programming, you may encounter a variety of content ratings designed to inform viewers about the nature of a show. One commonly seen rating is TV-MA, which stands for “Mature Audiences.” TV-MA indicates that the program is intended for mature viewers aged 17 and above due to the presence of potentially explicit or graphic content. Understanding the significance of MA ratings and its implications can help viewers make informed decisions about their television choices and ensure they align with their preferences and sensibilities.

The MA rating is part of the TV Parental Guidelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. It serves as a guide for parents and guardians to determine whether a particular show is suitable for younger viewers. TV-MA is the highest rating within these guidelines, indicating that the program contains content that is not appropriate for viewers under the age of 17.

The TV-MA rating encompasses a wide range of content that may include intense violence, strong language, sexual situations, and explicit nudity. The specific content descriptors may vary between shows, but the rating is intended to caution viewers about the potentially adult-oriented nature of the program. It signifies that the content may be more explicit, graphic, or challenging than what is typically found in programming with lower ratings.

It’s important to note that the rating does not indicate a blanket restriction on viewership. While it suggests that the program is intended for mature audiences, it does not enforce an age limit. Instead, it serves as a warning and recommendation for viewers to consider the potentially explicit or challenging nature of the content and make an informed decision based on their personal preferences and values.

what does tv ma mean


What Does TV-MA Mean?

TV-MA is a television rating assigned to programs that are intended for mature audiences. This rating indicates that the content of the program is not suitable for children under 17 years of age and may contain graphic violence, explicit sexual activity, or strong language.

MA programs are the most restrictive rating category, and parents or guardians should exercise caution when allowing children to watch TV-MA programs. Shows with this rating are intended for adult audiences only and may contain content that some viewers may find offensive or disturbing.


Content Descriptors

In addition to the rating, TV-MA programs may also contain content descriptors that give more detailed information about the type of content in the program. These descriptors are typically displayed in the corner of the TV screen at the beginning of the program and can include:

  • D – Indicates that the program contains intense or persistent depictions of violence.
  • L – Indicates that the program contains strong or frequent coarse language.
  • S – Indicates that the program contains graphic sexual content.
  • V – Indicates that the program contains graphic violence.


Examples of TV-MA Programs

TV-MA programs cover a wide range of genres, including drama, comedy, and reality TV. Some examples of TV-MA programs include:

  • The Sopranos
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game of Thrones
  • Orange is the New Black
  • South Park
  • Entourage


How To Find Out If A Program Is TV-MA

You can typically tell if a program is TV-MA rated by checking the program information on your TV or streaming service. Most TV networks and streaming platforms display the rating of their programs, including TV-MA, before the show airs or is available to watch. You can also search for the program’s information online to find out its rating and content descriptors. Many remote controls have a “Guide” button that displays program information, including ratings. Additionally, TV-MA programs often display a content descriptor at the beginning of the program to give more detailed information about the type of content in the program. By checking the program information and content descriptors, you can easily determine if a program is TV-MA rated and make informed choices about what you and your family watch.



TV-MA is a restrictive television rating assigned to programs that are intended for mature audiences. Programs with this rating may contain content that is graphic and not suitable for children under 17 years of age. By understanding TV ratings and content descriptors, viewers can make informed choices about what they watch. Remember to always use your judgment and discretion when deciding whether or not to allow your children or teenagers to watch TV-MA programs.

We hope this article has been helpful in explaining what TV-MA means. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.



I hold a Bachlors degree in Information Systems and have worked in technology for over 20 years. I currently work as a Network Engineer In Charlotte NC. I enjoy helping others navigate technology in an easy to understand way.

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About Me

Hi Everyone! My name is Adam, I am the Editor of Wally Home. I hold a bachelors degree in information systems and more then 20 years experience in technology. I am currently working as a Network Engineer in Charlotte NC. I love sharing my knowledge to help others with technology. I hope you find the information helpful and informative. Enjoy your stay!

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