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Icasa denies TopTV's porn application

2012-01-27 11:30
 
Cape Town – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has refused TopTV's application to start a new hardcore pornographic package of channels, Channel24 has learnt.

It brings to an end an almost 3-month public battle during which the pay TV operator came under widespread criticism from wanting to introduce the Adult XXX, Playboy Europe and Private Spice channels in South Africa.

Icasa said it would provide reasons for denying TopTV's application within 30 days.

TopTV's board indicated that it would accept Icasa's decision. Asked for comment on Friday, TopTV said the pay TV operator will "wait for Icasa to provide their reasons for decling the channels. Until then we are unable to make any comments."

Firestorm

TopTV ignited a massive firestorm when news broke that TopTV wanted to start a separate subscription porn package which dented the pay TV operator's brand reputation in the past few months.

While the pay TV operator became imbroiled in a separate bitter fight with South Africa's broadcasting regulator over regulatory approval procedures, a massive public backlash battered the company with widespread criticism from the public, united Christian, Muslim and Hindu faith-based groups, as well as the Film and Publication Board, the trade union Cosatu, and TopTV investors voicing strong opposition to the plan.

The majority of TopTV's board became decidedly negative over the company's porn plans in a urgent meeting this week.

No porn on TV

TopTV didn't give an oral presentation at its public hearing for its channels application convened by Icasa on Monday and was strangely silent, while the Film and Publication Board said that the Broadcasting Act clearly stipulates that the distribution of pornography can be done only through licensed stores and classified videos.

The Film and Publication Board said that the sale of pornographic content is only allowed to be made to people over the age of 18 and that hardcore pornography can't be broadcast on television.

Read more on:    icasa  |  toptv  |  pornography  |  tv
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