The watershed is in effect between 21:00 and 05:30 GMT
The 9pm television watershed may not survive, as on-demand viewing becomes more prevalent, the BBC director general Tony Hall has said.
Designed to protect children from unsuitable material, the rule stipulates that broadcasters must not show adult content before 21:00 GMT.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Lord Hall said the watershed was “still a useful way of judging” taste and decency issues.
“But has the watershed got a future in 20 or 30 years’ time? I suspect not.”
Since 2003, broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has taken action on more than 300 occasions when broadcasters have scheduled unsuitable content before or immediately after the watershed.
But the advent of the iPlayer and other on-demand services such as ITV Player and 4 On Demand means that viewers can access age-restricted material at any time of the day, although parents have the option of setting passwords and content locks.
The current BBC policy on the watershed states: “Programmes broadcast between 05.30 and 21:00 must be suitable for a general audience including children.
“The earlier in the evening a programme is placed, the more suitable it should be for children to watch without an older person.
“Programmes in later pre-watershed slots may not be suitable for the youngest children or for children to watch without an older person.
“Only in exceptional circumstances can there be any departure from this practice.”
‘Archers is precious’
In the same interview, Lord Hall was asked about concerns that Radio 4 soap The Archers had become too sensationalist.
“The Archers matters,” the director general said. “It is an extraordinary drama.”
“I realise this because I live with some Archers devotees, I know how people feel about …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment