Not So Red Hot Channels
Ofcom have fined RHF Productions Ltd £25,000 for broadcasting the URLs of websites that feature hardcore teasers without an age verification mechanism. The softcore pay per view channels were broadcasting the links between 21 July 2008 and
28 August 2008.
Rule 1.2: In the provision of services, broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen
Rule 1.3: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them
Rule 2.1: Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language…[and] sex….
In Broadcast Bulletin 114 dated 21 July 2008, Ofcom published a breach Finding against RHF. Free-to-air trailers broadcast in February 2008 on Red Hot TV which included verbal and on-screen text references to RHF’s website address www.redhottv.co.uk and
Portland Enterprises’ website address www.televisionx.co.uk.
The websites to which the Website URLs led, featured content equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material which could be viewed without registration. As a result, it was the responsibility of all Licensees (including RHF) to take all appropriate and immediate
steps to comply with the Code.
On 14 August 2008, Ofcom were again alerted to the offending Website URLs. The Website URLs led to websites which, although they included a warning on their front page, contained extremely explicit sexual material (equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material).
This did not require registration to view and could be seen by under-eighteens.
On being contacted by Ofcom on 28 August 2008, however, RHF took immediate steps to ensure the removal of the Website URLs from the Red Hot Channels. This was achieved on 28 August 2008.
Ofcom noted that whilst the content of the websites, to which the Website URLs led, was not broadcast material, and therefore not subject to the Code, the on-air references to the Website URLs were clearly broadcast content and must comply with the Code.
The on-air references to the Website URLs did not comply with the Code because they led users to websites allowing unrestricted access to R18-rated equivalent material.
Television Not So X 2
Ofcom have fined Portland Enterprises Ltd £27,500 for showing a little hardcore female masturbation on its softcore TVX 2 channel.
Rule 1.25: BBFC R18-rated films or their equivalent must not be broadcast
Ofcom received a complaint that the programme Bathroom Bitches broadcast on Television X2 (TVX2) on 4 September 2008 at 21:53, although encrypted, contained R18 equivalent material. The Programme included prolonged and explicit scenes of a woman
masturbating, some of which were shown in close-up and depicted vaginal penetration using a dildo. Ofcom considered that the content broadcast was equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material because of the sexual explicitness detailed above.
Portland Compliance admitted the Code breach stating that: Regrettably, the programme contained such footage [R18-rated equivalent material] . Ofcom therefore recorded a breach of Rule 1.25 (R18-rated equivalent material must not be broadcast)
against Portland Enterprises for transmitting the Programme.
Ofcom considered that lthough encrypted, the equivalent of R18-rated material (namely images of actual vaginal penetration) has the potential to cause harm to under-eighteens and children in particular.