Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) will have to reconsider a decision to grant Top TV licences to broadcast three pornography channels.
The Western Cape High Court dismissed On Digital Media's application for leave to appeal a ruling that the communications authority must revisit its decision.
A previous court case had decided that the TV regulator had not considered a restriction on porn distribution found in laws pertaining to DVD distribution and the country's film censors.
Judge Lee Bozalek said he was correct in remitting a decision to license On Digital Media's porn channels back to Icasa rather than apply the discretion himself. He said it's not up to the court to sever the good from the bad with regard to a
decision to license three porn channels.
On Digital Media, operating as Top TV, was granted three licences in April last year to broadcast adult content pay channels. In its appeal application, On Digital Media said remitting the decision back to Icasa would lead to unnecessary delay, prejudice
The Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall show Gogglebox now has its own adult parody, but Channel 4 are not so happy about it at.
The TVX parody, Gobblecocks , is set in the same format as Gogglebox, with characters who are similar to those featured on the hit show, they watch adult movies together whilst sharing their reactions, and more with the audience. Characters
include a posh pair called Beth and Don who are meant to represent Dom and Steph in the hit Channel 4 version.
The Sun newspaper quotes a source at the network as saying on the matter:
Channel 4 are not happy to have Television X making a show so similar to Gogglebox. In the past, they would've sent a strong legal letter warning, but the law that came in in October effectively protects them from prosecution, so their hands are tied.
According to the laws currently in place, people are free to make minor uses of other people's copyright material for the purposes of parody, caricature or pastiche, without first asking for permission .
On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media South Africa wants to continue broadcasting hardcore porn to South African satellite viewers and is appealing the ruling from the Western Cape High Court which found the process flawed in which South Africa's
broadcasting regulator approved the porn channels.
It's evident that the pay-TV provider sees pornographic TV channels as part of its plan and will fight to retain its hardcore sex channels which it has been broadcasting since November 2013 as a separate sex package for R159 per month.
According to court documents ODM and StarTimes Media SA have around 400 subscribers for the sex channels which Icasa approved after the company applied for a second time to broadcast porn following its first application which was denied.
South Africa's broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has not yet decided whether it, like ODM and StarTimes Media SA, will be appealing the ruling.
At the beginning of the month the Western Cape High Court ordered StarSat to stop broadcasting its pornography TV channels in South Africa after the the morality campaign, Justice Alliance of South Africa (Jasa), Cause for Justice and Doctors for Life
took Icasa and StarSat to court for allowing and broadcasting pornography on television in South Africa.
Icasa admitted to court that the regulator had failed to appoint experts to consider StarSat's porn plan. On Digital Media also failed to register with the Film and Publications Board (FPB) as a porn distributor.
An application for leave to appeal a court ruling on the licensing of three porn pay channels will be heard in the Western Cape High Court next month.
The application by On Digital Media (ODM) will be heard on 5 December.
In its appeal application, ODM argued that Icasa's decision was only invalid insofar as it failed to prohibit ODM from broadcasting films that had been classified as X18 , in accordance with the Film and Publications Act.
There was no reason this aspect of the decision could not be remedied by means of severance, it argued in the application.
It believed that remitting the decision back to Icasa would lead to unnecessary delay, prejudice and costs.
Studio 66 TV3, 4 June 2014, 22:15
Studio 66 TV1, 6 June 2014, 01:45
Studio 66 Nights was a segment of interactive adult chat advertising content broadcast on the service Studio 66 TV. The service, broadcasting on a digital satellite platform, is freely available without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the
adult section of the electronic programme guide (EPG). Viewers are invited to contact on-screen presenters via premium rate telephony services (PRS). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to
contact the PRS numbers.
The licence for Studio 66 TV3 is owned and operated by 965 TV Limited.
Ofcom received a complaint that at 22:30 the on-screen female presenter was rubbing her genitals.
We assessed the material between 22:15 and 22:45 and noted the female presenter was wearing a thong and white vest top pulled down to expose her breasts. During the broadcast, the presenter sat for extended periods of time with her legs apart and
repeatedly stroked and rubbed her genital area through her thong. On a further two occasions she moved her hand underneath her underwear and appeared to rub her genital area. The presenter's thong also failed to adequately cover the area around her
genitals and this area was exposed on a number of occasions during the broadcast.
Ofcom considered BCAP Code Rule 4.2.This states:
Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards .
Ofcom rules for babe channels include that adult chat broadcasters should:
at no time broadcast anal, labial or genital areas or broadcast images of presenters touching their genital or anal areas whether with their hand or an object
ensure that presenters' clothing adequately covers their anal, labial or genital areas.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of BCAP rule 4.2
In this case, the material was clearly at odds with the Guidance. The location of the channel within the adult section of the EPG and the time of broadcast were not sufficient mitigating factors to ensure serious or widespread offence against
generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards by the broadcast of this material on an advertising-based service was avoided. Rule 4.2 was therefore breached.
We also noted the Licensee's assertion that certain non-PRS adult channels (regulated under the Broadcasting Code) broadcast much stronger material by way of free-to-air and unencrypted promotional clips than the Licensee's channels. Ofcom noted that
these kinds of promotions for adult services are typically very short in length, and consist of a rolling series of very brief, tightly cut clips shown on editorial services which are specifically licensed to broadcast adult sex material', subject to
Ofcom has noted the various measures taken by the Licensee to improve compliance after being alerted by Ofcom to the broadcast of this material. Nonetheless, Ofcom puts 965 TV on notice that should similar breaches of the BCAP Code occur on this
Licensee's chat or adult chat services it will consider further regulatory action.
Ofcom found similarly against the complaint on Studio 66 TV1.
Noted US porn company Vivid Entertainment will launch the satellite channel, VividTV Europe on November 1.
The new 24/7 channel will deliver Vivid's adult content combined with the high quality European content.
VividTV already operates from the US. It launched its 24/7 channel in 2013 and is now reaching over 70 million homes across North and South America.
Bill Asher, co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, said distribution deals with several major European operators will be announced shortly. He said:
In order for any channel to truly be successful it must have a local flavor and appeal to the constituency of the territory. VividTV Europe is designed specifically for the European market. The channel will deliver the most popular content in Europe,
both through acquisitions as well as programming from Vivid Entertainment, owner of the largest single adult studio archive,
He noted that the new European service comes on the heels of last week's announcement of a Vivid partnership with VanessaTV in Canada to create a truly local channel. VividTV Canada launches October 28.
European viewers will receive footage from the Vivid Celeb line, which includes sexually explicit videos plus pop icon superhero parodies, series such as Brand New Faces and 100% Real Swingers.
VividTV Europe will be available on Astra 1L 19.2 degrees East as well as via cable, except in censorial countries like the UK.
Canadian adult broadcaster Sex-Shop Television Inc. will rebrand its popular Vanessa TV service as VividTV in a new partnership venture with the multichannel television division of Vivid Entertainment, a major adult film company. The change
is effective October 28.
The channel, which will offer programming in both French and English. The channel will provide the most popular Vanessa TV programming, along with content from Vivid.
A morality and religious campaign group calls itself the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA).
In 2013 JASA started a legal case opposing the licensing of a satellite package of 3 porn channels by the South African licensing authority ICASA. That case will now be heard in court on 10th August 2014. Jasa claims that:
It is a step too far to introduce pornography to the family TV, which is usually in the only living room in the home. Inevitably children will be aware of it, even if parents attempt to prevent them watching. The 8pm watershed period is absurd because
teenage children settle down to watch TV at that time after doing their homework.
As advised by counsel, Jasa alleged that Icasa erred in law in failing to find that the constitutional rights of children were laws of general application, which should have trumped the rights to freedom of expression, Jasa said.
Furthermore, Jasa alleges that Icasa ignored their obligation. .. to consider the moral and spiritual implications of TV channels... .
Canada's porn industry isn't Canadian enough , claims the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The country's TV censor has warned AOV Adult Movie Channel, XXX Action Clips and Maleflixxx that they weren't reaching the 35% threshold for Canadian-produced content which comes to about eight and a half hours a day.
Now all three channels will have to come to a hearing on April 28, where they will be questioned on their lack of compliance.
The CRTC didn't issue statistics on the origin of the porn being displayed across Canada's living rooms, bedrooms, boudoirs and dungeons, but presumably much of it is American or European.
A Canadian has dreamt up the idea of a sort of YouTube for satellite TV. Rob Hopkins has just been granted a federal licence to broadcast user-generated video, including pornography.
The CRTC, the federal regulator of radio and television, has approved two separate applications to supply video-on-demand.
Hopkins created software that cobbles together the videos, which can come from anywhere in Canada. Now he can sell that program to cable companies across the country.
The plan has already generated from miserable oppents who say the licence opens the door to possible exploitation, depending on how the content is regulated.
Hopkins says that's not his responsibility: I don't plan on moderating it, I give out a leased car, for example, that's my model right. You're a cable company, I give you the system and what not. You can moderate it .
He plans to use a program called open broadcaster to televise videos submitted by anyone who owns a camera in Canada. Those videos can be of anything, including porn.
Get Lucky TV
Get Lucky TV (channel 908), 9 October to 2 December 2013, various times between 21:00 and 05:30
Lucky Star (channel 909), 9 October to 2 December 2013, various times between 21:00 and 05:30
Party (channel 175), 9 October to 20 December 2013, various times between 00:00 and 05:30
Ofcom received a complaint that the website www.babestation.com was being promoted openly on-screen on the service Get Lucky TV intermittently throughout the day. The complainant said that on accessing the Babestation website by means
of this URL it was possible to view content which was clearly R18 and beyond . Ofcom viewed the Get Lucky TV channel and noted that references were made to the website www.babestation.com by way of a graphic, positioned in the top
left-hand corner of the screen, which showed the URL. Ofcom viewed the channel's output between the hours of 21:00 and 05:30 at various times and on various dates. On all occasions when the presenters were on screen, the URL was visible.
After receiving the complaint Ofcom accessed the www.babestation.com website and noted and retained records, including video and screenshots, of the following:
The homepage featuring a selection of thumbnail images of women. On clicking on the image of a woman, the user was taken to a second page with further images of the woman and the option to see her in what was described as a
Â¡Â§live showÂ¡Â¨ by selecting a choice of payment methods.
Ofcom noted that when scrolling through the homepage, a small number of the thumbnail images of the women were explicit, for example showing some with their legs open and their genital area fully visible. In one instance, the image was more
explicit, showing a woman masturbating with her fingers inserted inside her vagina. These images were available to view without any restrictions.
Once a thumbnail image of a woman was selected and the user accessed the second page of images, the user was able to make payment to enable live webcam streaming and live interaction with the woman. The payment could be done through the use
of a PRS number, which generated a PIN, which in turn could be entered into the website. This allowed full access to the website until the call was disconnected. Access could also be purchased by a credit card.
Ofcom noted that when the PRS number was dialled and the PIN received (or payment was made using a credit card), users were able to view the live webcam feed and interact with the woman in the original thumbnail via a text chat window. To
the right of the screen, a scrollable window displayed live images from other webcam feeds and, in many instances, these were images of women masturbating (equivalent to British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) R18-rated content1). On
clicking on any one these live images, users were taken to their chosen live feed, and many of these feeds included R18 equivalent material, predominantly of close-up images of the women's genitals as they inserted items such as vibrators
into their vaginas.
When accessing these live webcam feeds via the PRS number the user was at no time asked to verify they were over the age of 18.
Ofcom considered BCAP Code Rule 30.3, which states:
Advertisements for products coming within the recognised character of pornography are permitted behind mandatory restricted access on adult entertainment channels only.
The Licensee accepted that there had been a compliance failure and apologised. It said it had taken immediate action following Ofcom contacting the broadcaster. This action included removing the Babestation URL from Get Lucky broadcasts
and, as an additional measure, ensuring that anyone attempting to access the www.babestation.com site was redirected to www.babestation.co.uk (which the Licensee said was managed by internal personnel and was wholly compliant with the BCAP
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 30.3
Ofcom noted that the Licensee apologised for this compliance error and has introduced new training and procedures as a result of this incident. Nonetheless the broadcast of promotional references to the www.babestation.com website on Get Lucky
TV for extended periods between 9 October and 2 December 2013 breached Rule 30.3 of the BCAP Code.
Ofcom was particularly concerned that in this case the advertising led to a website which contained R18 equivalent material without any appropriate age verification process.
Breaches of BCAP Code Rule 30.3
Similar breaches of the rules were recorded against associated channels, Lucky Star, and Party.
Red Light Central
Red Light 2, 31 August 2013, 22:00
Red Light Central is interactive adult sex chat advertising content broadcast on the service Red Light 2, which is available freely without a requirement for mandatory restricted access on Sky channel number 902. The licence for this service is owned and
operated by Playboy UK TV Limited.
Ofcom received a complaint that at 22:10 two female presenters appeared on-screen together miming sexual acts with one another. The presenters, who wore white thongs and white lace vests (which for much of the time were pulled down to reveal their
breasts), were in a set designed to look like a bathroom. During the broadcast they were shown touching each other's breasts and buttocks, rubbing their breasts against each other and miming sexual acts together. At approximately 22:48 the presenters
went into the bathtub and rubbed water onto each other's breasts and buttocks and continued to mime sexual acts such as masturbation and oral sex. The presenters, when addressing the viewers, said that this was a special two for one and it was the first official two for one
on the service and that the presenters were horny for each other .
Ofcom considered Rule 4.2 of the BCAP Code, which states:
Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards. .
Ofcom also considered censorship rules for babe channels published in February 2013: licensees should:
Take particular care if two or more presenters appear together on-screen. If there is any contact between the presenters of an erotic or sexual nature (for example kissing, stroking or contact between thighs, breasts or genital areas) or any miming or
simulation of a sexual act performed by one presenter on another, in Ofcom's view there is a high risk of causing serious or widespread offence against generally accepted standards.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of BCAP Code Rule 4.2
Between 22:10 and 22:48 the two female presenters adopted a variety of sexual positions, such as on all fours with their buttocks facing the camera, and lying back with their legs apart, and touched, stroked and rubbed one another with the intention of
making viewers think that they were engaging in sexual acts with one another. These acts, which were mimed, included stroking the other's buttocks and massaging the other's breasts, rubbing their breasts together, and miming oral sex as one presenter lay
back with her legs apart. In addition, the presenters moved continuously rubbing their bodies together so that their breasts rubbed against the other's body, including her buttocks. At 22:48, the two presenters got into the bathtub, pulled each other's
tops down to their waists, and rubbed water and foam into one another's breasts. In addition, one presenter sat in the bathtub with her legs wide open as the other presenter mimed oral sex.
Ofcom noted that the actions were mimed and no genital or anal detail was visible. However, in Ofcom's view the material clearly showed continuous contact between the presenters as they stroked each other's breasts and buttocks and the material featured
the miming of sexual acts by one presenter on the other. This is clearly at odds with the Guidance. In Ofcom's view, the broadcast of this material in adult chat advertising content was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Ofcom has noted that in this instance the Licensee accepted immediately that this content was at odds with the published Guidance. Ofcom therefore advises licensees, providing similar long-form advertising and PRS material, that to ensure compliance with
the BCAP Code there is no contact between presenters of an erotic or sexual nature when two presenters appear on-screen at the same time.
Preliminary View: Breach of BCAP Code Rule 4.2
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