TopTV's porn fight heating up

2012-01-09 14:36
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – TopTV is pushing ahead with its plans for porn and wants to launch its hardcore pornographic package within two weeks.

Meanwhile South Africa's broadcasting regulator is preparing a court interdict to stop the pay TV operator, should it launch its pornographic package before there has been a public hearing and a decision on the application.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) served TopTV with papers last week and the regulator overseeing South Africa's broadcasting industry is getting ready for a possible court fight with TopTV if the broadcaster goes ahead with its plans for porn without regulatory approval.

Porn without approval

In a letter to subscribers at the end of 2011, TopTV initially indicated December 20 as its Christmas launch date for its pornographic, stand-alone package with a separate monthly subscription fee of R199 for the three channels. Now Heather Kennedy, vice president for content marketing at the channel, is saying that TopTV's three pornographic channels will "go live within the next two weeks".

TopTV has applied for "authorisation of channels" from Icasa which was published in the Government Gazette in November, asking the public and stakeholders for comment.  Icasa then has to hold a public hearing and then decide on the application.

None of this has happened yet.

Meanwhile TopTV's plan has been met with widespread vocal public resistance. Several faith-based umbrella groups representing Christian denominations, Muslims and Hindus are also jointly criticising TopTV's porn plans and calling for a commercial boycott of TopTV as well as advertisers on the pay TV platform.

Icasa received several submissions from the public and industry stakeholders regarding TopTV's porn plans.

Legal action considered

Icasa is now readying legal action against TopTV should the pay TV provider push ahead and broadcast pornography.

According to Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka: "The authority is indeed considering legal action against On Digital Media (ODM) in the form of a court interdict."

Icasa wants to "prevent the licensee from going ahead with the launch of the three additional video channels as applied for" if TopTV starts broadcasting pornography before a public hearing has taken place.

TopTV has received no authorisation certificate from Icasa for new channels. Icasa plans to set a public hearing date at the end of January.

TopTV did not respond to a media request for comment and clarification on the pay platform's plans regarding the new package and why TopTV is pushing ahead despite not having an authorisation certificate to do so.
 

Comments

  • Mattewis - 2012-01-09 15:04

    I've been wondering what TopTV have been doing with our subscription fees over the past 19 months, as their current content has not improved at all! It would seem they have sufficient funding to go spending it in court, and creating more headaches for parents! I think the time has come to bid them farewell. Their programs are marginally entertaining, and their present content for children is utterly dismal! Judging from this article, it isn't difficult to see what they think of children. Porn, like gambling, serves only one single purpose: Abusing the fundamental weaknesses of humans to enrich yourself. It is no different from dealing drugs, as it also targets society's most vulnerable: children & young adolescents!

      coenraadt - 2012-01-09 15:23

      Hi Mattewis. I guess you have access to the internet, or at least i know you have, cause you posted here, why would you have access to the internet, its disgusting, gambling and porn all over the place? I for one will not subscribe to the channels and i don’t believe porn, like gambling serves any purpose, but should humans not be allowed to make their own decisions? Now, you are going to ask, what about the kids, sitting there with remote in hand, watching porn, hhhhmmmm, what about that kid sitting there with cell phone in hand, doing the same thing? We must educate our children and have enough faith in them that they will chose right from wrong. We won’t always be able to protect them, but through educating them we must believe they will make the correct calls in life. No for porn, but yes for grown people toe chose what they want to watch!!

      rbczovczov - 2012-01-09 21:16

      Hi coenraadt thanks for spelling it out for these hypocrites.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-09 15:12

    Top TV cannot survive without a massive steady influx of subscriptions, and the over regulation of all aspects of life needs to be reigned in with government needing to be put in and kept in its place. As a separate subscription entity this porn channel will only be available and view-able by specific subscribers which negates any need for regulation or debate. I most definitely will not ever be one of their customers, but will not at the same time be vain enough to think I know whats best for other or try to decree what others may see or do.

      Gregory Wells-Clifton - 2012-01-09 15:18

      Over the past few days many have been forced, if they were only able to view SABC channels, to view the never ending ANC celebrations. Forced to pay TV licences but forced to watch the drivel shown. TopTV are aiming at a market with choices. Let them be. Each individual can decide for themself if they wish to pay the subscription or not. People are not sheep - well not all.....

  • Ajaykumar - 2012-01-09 15:20

    People vote with their money. If somebody does not like the idea then dont get top tv or dont subscribe to their channels. Seriously...are children and teenagers going to get their own Top TV subsriptions? The opposite is true...if someone wants to watch porn then they should have the option to do it. Who made all these religious groups God? Religious groups think because they pray, then they become God and can dicatate what other people do? People should be able to do what makes them happy...and if this is something that makes them happy, then so be it. We do not as a society condone gambling, drugs or prostitution but we do allow it and regulate it and protect those who need to be protected from it...We do not stop casinos because minors might start gambling, we just do not allow minors in it. I for one am fully behind top tv...you go!

  • Kaizer - 2012-01-09 15:28

    Funny how people stand up to and form a united front on porn, but when it comes to gay marriages and adoption, people are quiet. Selective morals.

      Heiku - 2012-01-09 15:50

      Morals does not equal what you personally think is wrong and right

      Kaizer - 2012-01-09 15:53

      true, but people of same beliefs and morals stand together on "moral" issues, and both of the aboventioned issues are issues of morality. My opinion anyways.

      Phoenix - 2012-01-09 23:44

      Maybe because people apear to start understanding that the gay issue is not a "moral" issue but a human issue. My gay friends are fantastic and trustworthy people. Open your yes.

  • Andy - 2012-01-09 15:29

    Wish the media would get their facts straight. It's NOT TopTV (On Digital) who wants to launch this channel but PSat.TV. There's a press release on their website (5 Dec for those who cared to look).

      Hans - 2012-01-09 15:40

      @Andy, you are 100% correct. The only similarity is that TopTV and PSatTV use the same satelite.

  • Cracker - 2012-01-09 15:36

    The obsession with what others like or prefer is a sickness. It is absurd to live with so such fear that you will be infected by what others like - even though they don't harm anybody or other living being. Let people be. By that one may just retain one's own freedoms to be a real pain in the backside. To each his own misery and enjoyment. Let them be.

      Kaizer - 2012-01-09 16:00

      "even though they don't harm anybody or other living being" - REALLY? So these children and woman being abducted and raped for the porn industry all all right by you? "Micki Garcia, former director of Playmate Promotions, was for six years a supervisor, friend and confidante of the "Playmates". She "saw and felt the grim realities of the Playboy lifestyle: alienation from family and friends, drug abuse, attempted suicide, prostitution, unnecessary cosmetic surgery, mental and physical abuse, rape, attempted murder and murder." Peter Bogdanovich's [Dorothy Stratten] biography, The Killing of the Unicorn (1984) also documents Playboy's exploitation of women."

      Cracker - 2012-01-09 16:26

      @ Kaizer Really? What you try to use to taint not only the porn industry and participants therein but also the average watcher thereof (AND OF COURSE OUR FREEDOMS) sounds pretty ordinary and very much part of the everyday human activity and experience all around us in all spheres. You don't seriously suggest that the vices named in the extract are behind all the porn magazines on sail right here under our noses in the local cafe or the porn programs available through the various media outlets. You really serious? In the porn I have seen the participants seemed quite happy and definitely not under threat or about to commit suicide.

      Cracker - 2012-01-09 16:37

      Actually Kaizer, I re-read your comment and couldn't help but burst out laughing. Anyway, I am not a woman and can only speak as a male. As such I would've loved to be sexy, young, full of sexual drive AND being sexually exploited. What a wish! And don't be dishonest. So would you and countless of other so-called moral purists. How do I know the latter is factually correct? Do some research, if you have not yet personally verified the facts for yourself.

  • jannie.debeer - 2012-01-09 15:46

    This will kill the cornershop adult outlets and the other public porn eyesores. Let people do in their homes what they want, and let them pay for it. No body is forcing the general public to subscribe.

  • Michael - 2012-01-09 15:50

    So let me get this straight, once you subscribe to this you will have unlimited access to porn the whole month 24/7? Wow, thats' load of porn right there...

      CopperWoody - 2012-01-09 15:58

      I foresee alot of men on crutches and wheelchairs after the first month! :) - Its a novelty, it will wear off quickly! :)

  • gerry.pelser - 2012-01-09 15:50

    To all the moral and religious groups out there: if you do not like porn, you have the choice not to watch it. Personalyl, I find (vanilla) porn boring as heck, and wont fork over my money when I can spend that money on a book or two, but dammit, I love the fact that I have the CHOICE. Let people be free to make their own choices – its that simple.

      George - 2012-01-09 16:42

      with you on this one.

  • Grant - 2012-01-09 15:52

    Really really simple this - the majority will decide. If the channel goes live, and most people want nothing to do with it, it will go bust on its own! If however many people subscribe (and it becomes profitable), then the masses have spoken. If there is a demand, then the public are entitled. If there is no demand, it will simply go away.

  • Afrikopite - 2012-01-09 16:01

    http://toptv.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=448:toptv-shocked-by-implied-association-with-psattv-&catid=63:press Please read before you tjaratjra

      Denise - 2012-01-09 22:08

      Poor Top TV. I would also be pissed off if my company's name was used in an article regarding porn when it isn't true. I see a nice legal case brewing, TOP TV vs. PSat.TV.

  • Claude - 2012-01-09 16:59

    You know one of the reasons Top TV was launch was to give more people (Especially Lower & Middle class) the opportunity to have access to satellite television. They have succeeded in doing this to a small degree and I take my hat off to them. The idea of having “choice” is one positive thing that has come out of our country… And it’s simple… If you choose to get it -> Subscribe, If not -> don’t subscribe.

  • dekkeranton - 2012-01-09 17:43

    Why is everyone getting so worked-up about this? If you don’t want it, you don’t have to watch this. Grow up people, censorship has left South Africa with the National Party government. It is up to you as an individual to decide what you want to see and hear. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Someone will introduce porn TV to South Africa, so if it isn’t Top TV or PSatTV it will be someone else. Stop being so morally prescriptive, and realise quickly that no one has the right in the new South Africa to decide moral or religious issues for anyone else but yourself. If you are to morally weak to resist this kind of temptation it is only your problem, not the rest of the worlds. If you are concerned about your children, remember, it is your responsibility as a parent to protect you children from this kind of thing, and not the broadcast regulator or government legislator.

  • Phoenix - 2012-01-09 23:39

    Idiotic and sensationalist reporting.

  • Jonathan - 2012-01-10 00:12

    What is all the noice and fuss about. Are we not a democratic counry that hold the bill of rights and the constitution dear to us. Are those who are objecting to the poro channels motivated by a calvanistic approach. From the above article it appears that access to the three porno channels would be by paid seperate subscription. So if you are offended, do not subscribe. But what about those individuals who want to subscribe. We should never forget that freedom of association is one to the entrenched rights that should be protected.

  • rogertjenkins - 2012-01-10 07:34

    Oh, Heather Kennedy, will you be subscribing to this channel? If not, why not? If you broadcast it, then you must be prepared to watch it as well.

  • Fredster - 2012-01-10 12:50

    Should be POT TV

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-16 15:25

    What are the comments from our Government?

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