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TopTV: Porn alone won't save us

2013-01-18 13:29
 
TopTV
Cape Town - Struggling pay-tv operator TopTV has said that it would be "both naïve and malicious" to believe that the granting of their proposed porn channel bouquet will be enough to save the company from financial ruins.

In the cover letter on On Digital Media's (ODM) application for authorisation for their proposed porn channels, acting CEO Eddie Mbalo wrote that Icasa "will also be aware that ODM has recently filed for business rescue".

"We firmly believe that our ability to offer certain of our subscribers channels that form part of this application, would help greatly in our attempts to take the business to a sustainable future," Eddie said.

'Last-ditch effort'

In the letter he continues, saying: "Given that the business has received limited regulatory assistance in the past in order to assist it against extremely tough market competition, we would hope that the authority is able to look upon the application favourably and also do this as expeditiously as possible, in order to give ODM a fighting chance of survival."

In a press statement that was issued late on Thursday, Mbalo said that "there have been many inferences made in the media that TopTV has made this application in a last-ditch effort to save the organisation", which was voluntarily placed in business rescue towards the end of 2012.

"However, nothing could be further from the truth. As previously stated in the statement issued by TopTV at the time, the business requires a capital injection from a strategic equity partner. It would therefore be both naive and malicious to conclude that the granting of permission to broadcast channels would be sufficient to save a company that requires a capital injection," he wrote.

"The current application that has been submitted to Icasa differs from the previous one, and takes into consideration the various submissions, viewpoints and comments made previously."

Failed to participate in hearings

Mbalo further continues to state that they have noted their failure to "participate in previous hearings", which could have given them the opportunity to express their point of view clearly.

"We acknowledge that TopTV's failure to participate in the previous hearings denied us the opportunity to state our viewpoint clearly and to set the record straight with regards to how the channels would be broadcast and the necessary protective mechanisms that have been put in place."

The pay-tv operator has also proposed a new double block pin system in their newest application to Icasa.

'Exploitation and abuse'


In the statement Mbalo says that the constitution "guarantees all citizens their democratic right to read, view and consume material of their choice in the privacy of their own space, so long as that consumption is not in any way in contravention of the law".

"This right was as important a constitutional right as the right of all citizens to be protected from exploitation and abuse," he said.

"It should also be noted that TopTV, and all other broadcasters for that matter, are not precluded from scheduling adult content in the normal course of their business, as our competitors have done in the past, and continue to do."

The South African public and all interested parties can comment on TopTV's porn channel plans with correspondence to be posted to:

Ndondo Dube
Broadcasting Licencing Unit
Licencing and Compliance Division
Block D, Pinmill Farm
164 Katherine Street
Sandton
2196

Alternatively,

Private Bag X10002
Sandton
2146

Via e-mail: pndube@icasa.org.za

Or fax 011 566 3200

- Channel24

Read more on:    icasa  |  toptv  |  eddie mbalo  |  pornography  |  tv

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