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Film and Publication Board opposes porn

2011-12-09 07:19
 
 
Cape Town – South Africa's Film and Publication Board (FBP) will "strongly oppose" TopTV's plans to launch a separate porn package in 2012, saying that it has noted civil society's objections and that TopTV's porn plan is not in the interest of children.

TopTV shocked South Africa's TV industry when the South African pay TV operator did a 180 degree turn and announced plans for R18-rated hardcore channels which it wants to make available to subscribers on a separate subscription.

The three 24-hour Playboy channels will come at a monthly price of R199 and TopTV has already signed a carriage agreement with Playboy TV for three so-called adult channels which will require a specific separate PIN to be accessible.

TopTV has applied to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), submitting an "application for authorisation of channels".

Icasa told Channel24 that the application is under review and that "the authority has not taken a decision yet".

TopTV, which previously promised more general TV channels and a sports channel, has not managed to add any commercial TV channels to its general bouquet this year.

Strict regulations

"We did note the proposed pornographic channels by TopTV. We are going to strongly oppose the channels and the pornography plans and we will be engaging Icasa about it," says Mlimandlela Mdamase, the Film and Publication Board spokesperson.

"We do respect the law which allows people to have access to pornography should they so wish. The law allows for people seeking pornography to get it via shops and specific outlets where strict regulations apply, but on television the Film and Publication Board's view is that it is most inappropriate and not in the general interest of children or society," he said.

"In the interest of children we believe it not wise to offer this kind of content on television. If people want it, there are places where they can go to to access it.

"TopTV has indicated that it's decided to go ahead with the submission. The Film and Publication Board will strongly oppose it and we have noted the strong reaction from South Africa's civil society. We will definitely engage with Icasa on the matter, similar to when MultiChoice had similar plans previously to broadcast 24-hour pornographic channels in the country," he said.

Just before launch, TopTV CEO Vino Govender said: "We are running our business with strong Christian ethical codes and we are not planning to introduce a porn channel. Besides, we don't want to poison the minds of South African children out there."

In a statement earlier this week TopTV said "Stagnating to past statement will not serve the changed needs from our clients or assist our growth."

"We have looked into this from all possible angles and as people with families we are very mindful of our subscribers. We are approaching this in a very responsible way and will ensure that our current and future subscribers' values are in no way compromised."

TopTV says it is "aware that adult content is a very sensitive subject and as a result we have structured the channels as an additional stand-alone package such that those who do not subscribe to the channels will in no way be exposed to the content."

- Channel24

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