Media Responsibility

We use the power of media to make a positive difference in people's lives

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    • Overview & Highlights
    • Minors protection and compliance
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Overview & Highlights

At MTG, we strive to use the power of entertainment to make a difference. We want to provide content that is both entertaining and educational, and which reflects the complex and diverse world in which we all live. We aim to represent society through all our entertainment experiences and give a voice to diverse audiences. We make sure that we live up to our values and principles throughout the production, be it storytelling, online games or esports events. We have a broad and diverse product portfolio to attract a global audience.

We believe creativity, cultural diversity, editorial independence and freedom of expression are essential for producing engaging entertainment and for a free, open and pluralistic society.

We go the extra mile to increase accessibility and offer differently-abled viewers the opportunity to enjoy our content. We’re committed to offering people of all ages a safe, trusted and fun experience. We follow all applicable broadcasting rules and regulations while providing parents with flexible, effective tools.

We work hard to ensure integrity in esports. It’s important to us that children and minors who play our games, play on our platforms or attend our tournaments and festivals, are protected.

 

Minors protection and compliance

We provide a safe, trusted and enjoyable experience for all ages

Viaplay is the home for everyone in the family. In late 2017, we performed extensive research in the Nordic countries (Viaplay customers and non-customers) to understand kids and parents’ respective needs and expectations and to further enhance the usability and relevance for all ages. We were pleased to find out that parents feel safer when their children use Viaplay as opposed to other streaming services. We have established kids’ principles which guides us in everything we do to make sure that products and features are fun, helpful and always considerate of kids. For example, we provide parental settings, so that parents make the kids section the default and control which content requires a pin code to access (which helps the parent rather than locking out the kids).

 In 2018, we made Viaplay even more accessible with the new portability regulation allowing subscription services to operate across national borders within the European Union (EU). This means, our customers get the same experience when they are travelling within the EU as they do at home.  Protecting our customers’ privacy is essential. During 2018 we implemented GDPR and strengthened our customers’ privacy even more. Read more about GDPR at MTG in our Business Ethics section.

We follow up on complaints and follow regulations

The majority of MTG’s broadcast licenses are held in the UK, where Ofcom sets out clear rules about important issues, such as program content, sponsorship, product placement, fairness and privacy. Viewers can choose to contact MTG’s broadcast compliance team or the relevant regulator at any time. Our broadcasting team are always on top of adjustments and developments to child and minors’ protection. In 2018, MTG received a total of 32 broadcast complaints, far fewer than in 2017 (49). Of these, two related to minors. For our Ofcom licensed services we had 19 program content complaints in 2018, the same number as in 2017. No complaints about MTG were upheld by Ofcom, with 12 decisions still pending at the end of 2018.

Age restrictions at esports events vary depending on local laws and regulations, this may also include age recommendations of the game played. ESL restricts attendance of children at their events to the age of 12 if they are not accompanied by an adult.

In our gaming company, InnoGames, customers must be 16 years of age according to their terms and conditions. In addition, their games are classified by both USK and PEGI in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s iOS. To create an account at Kongregate.com players are required to provide their year of birth. If they are younger than 13 years, the registration is rejected. This also serves as the age regulation for Kartridge, our direct sales platform, as a Kongregate.com account is a prerequisite.

Additionally, Kartridge as a platform works towards minimising cyber bullying. They do this through a complex context software chat filter, that uses an algorithm to identify and filter out objectionable content such as racist or hateful language, harassment, insults etc. The filter decides who is trusted or not. If a person is identified as untrusted, he or she will become more and more restricted in their ability to use the chat. Players who have negative experiences can also reach out to Kartridge directly and the matter will be looked into and handled accordingly.

We want to help our viewers make informed decisions of what to watch so we always carry on-screen warnings beforehand if a program or film contains potentially offensive material. We also want to highlight that no adult content has been shown on our pay-TV channels since April 2017, and no third-party adult channels have been broadcasted since May 2018.

We go the extra mile to make our content more accessible and inclusive

We follow Ofcom regulations which require us to broadcast a certain amount of content with audio descriptions (10%) and subtitles (60%). But we want to take greater responsibility and go even further to make our content more accessible and inclusive. In 2018

 we exceeded these targets in both areas for all free TV channels in Sweden and Denmark. We also introduced sign language captioning to our free channel TV3 in Sweden for the first time.

English is the main language in esports, but both ESL and DreamHack often end up with several language streams across the world to accommodate the viewers. Sometimes there are local language hosts or even direct translation on stage. Partner broadcasters may subtitle content if they have the media rights.

 

Integrity in Esports

Both ESL and DreamHack are proud members of ESIC, and ESL is even a founding partner. The organisation is to be the recognised guardian of the integrity of esports and to take responsibility for disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating, including match manipulation and doping. The purpose is to set out the shared values and visions essential to a united front against corruption and form the basis of the ESIC program of integrity measures. ESIC acts as a neutral 3rd party to help mediate and monitor situations in which integrity can be questioned.

Responsible content

We want our talents and storytelling to reflect a diverse society

MTG strives to represent society and give voices to diverse audiences. When producing content, games and esports productions, we always think about who is behind and in front of the camera or screen, including how people and characters are being portrayed. In 2018, we launched a steering group for the Nordic markets and the UK, to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas, from employee recruitment to content production. We also appointed a specific working group focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion in the product portfolio and content value chain.

In game development, it’s clear to see that diverse teams create better content and game design. InnoGames recognises the importance of different female characters. They believe the focus should not be on appearances, but on character traits like intelligent and powerful. The company are using this thinking to broaden their characters, for example in their game, Warlords of Aternum.

We strive to invest in and encourage more gender balance and diversity in filmmaking talent. That’s why we’re proud of our latest cooperation with female producers and Viaplay‘s original productions across the Nordic region. For example, the original drama series ‘Conspiracy of Silence’, directed by Charlotte Brändström. In 2018, we also launched the comedy-drama ‘Love Me’, written and directed by Josephine Bornebusch, and the crime thriller ‘Honour’, created by and starring a stellar line-up of top female talent.

How we protect our values in production

We work hard to make sure we live up to our values and principles in the content production process, and the same goes for our gaming and esports productions. Therefore, we include the Ofcom broadcasting code (in content productions) and MTG’s Code of Conduct for suppliers in all agreements. To make sure our values and principles are followed, the Code of Conduct is discussed at each production kick-off meeting. This procedure was implemented in Sweden in 2018, with the plan to roll it out in the rest of the Nordic countries in 2019.

We want to entertain and inform our audience

We want to entertain while challenging stereotypical norms and promoting an equal, diverse, healthy and inclusive society. That’s why we’re proud of our production, Luxury Trap, (which is broadcast in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland). With increased marginalisation and urbanisation, we see an increase in private debt. The proportion of people in debt in Sweden alone is about 4%. In the program, we help people solve their financial problems to achieve healthy and sustainable spending behaviour. The program reached over 52% of the Nordic population (Finland excluded). The Luxury Trap’s financial advisors not only educate and support the participants but through its incredible reach into Nordic households, they create awareness and guide the Nordic audiences of how to deal with a societal problem that has long been considered shameful. We are proud to be taking the fight against debt, for being an active part of people’s daily life, and ultimately having an impact on the Nordic society.

Promoting local storytelling and cultural diversity

Creativity contributes to building an open, vibrant, inclusive and pluralistic society. We want to have a broad and diverse product portfolio with international content accessible through subtitling and dubbing. We want to promote local storytelling, languages and expressions while giving a platform to local creative talents and promoting the creative industry. When producing esports events, English is the main language. However, we provide direct translations of local languages on stage to increase accessibility. Often, we end up having more than 15 language streams all over the world.

In 2018, MTG continued to invest in original productions across the Nordic region. 10 productions were premiered, with the ambition to double original productions for the coming year. The productions were recorded in the Nordic countries Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, with local creative production teams. They were distributed and promoted in the Nordics and internationally. The originals are broadcast in local languages which increases accessibility for the younger and older local populations. ‘Saga’s Stories’ is the latest original kids’ series that both entertains, and informs, after the award-winning ‘The Great Escape’ which was named Children’s Program of the Year at Sweden’s Kristallen awards in 2017. Saga’s Stories’ aims to portray some of the challenges of growing up in an engaging and thoughtful way. We are also proud of the second season of ‘The Great Escape’ (launched in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian) which inspires kids to engage in complex subjects like chemistry and mathematics, in an entertaining and informative way.

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