"I am gratified by our members' vote of approval for this agreement," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris , who served as chair of the Network Television Code Negotiating Committee.
The Network Television Code generates more than $200 million a year in covered member earnings and covers programming in nearly all television day parts as well as programming produced for digital media.
The first Television Code was adopted at the end of 1951.(62) Based on both the Radio Code and the Motion Picture Code,(63) it was drafted to head off proposed legislation that would have created a citizens advisory board for radio and television.(64)
The Television Code was amended at various points.(65) It probably had its greatest effect in the 1960s and 1970s.
Decisions of the Code Authority were reviewed by the Television Code Review Board.(80) This Board consisted of nine members representing subscribing stations, including one member for each of three major networks.(81) It reported directly to the Television Board of Directors at the NAB.
Broadcast historian Erik Barnouw describes the Television Code's "enforcement machinery" as
If a subscribing station was charged with violating the code and found guilty by an NAB review board, the station (according to the rules) would lose the right to display on the screen the NAB "seal of good practice." Since the seal meant nothing to viewers and its absence would be virtually impossible to notice, the machinery meant nothing.(103) Thus in general, effective enforcement of the Television Code was hampered by the less-than-universal industry participation, limited resources, and inadequate enforcement incentives.
Yet, the Television Code Review Board rejected these proposals, instead adopting weaker guidelines that required few or no changes in then-existing advertising practices.
The Television Code met greater success, at least for a time, in limiting the amount of advertising on children's programs as well as preventing direct governmental regulation of advertising on children's television.
While the FCC deliberated on the ACT proposal, the NAB amended the Television Code to diminish the number of children's advertisements.(121) In 1974,(122) the FCC declined to adopt limits on children's advertising, noting that the NAB had proposed limits to go into effect in 1976 of 9.5 minutes on weekend children's programs and twelve minutes for children's programs shown during the week.(123)
In contrast to advertising, the NAB's Television Code seems to have had less effect in the programming area.