MultiChoice fined for vampire movie

2011-07-20 15:53
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town - The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has fined MultiChoice R20 000 due to what the commission calls "aggravated negligence" on the part of the pay TV operator for a continued problem with implementing the correct age restrictions on movies.

This is the third time within a short period that the BCCSA has scolded MultiChoice and DStv's M-Net channels for a problem with the correct practical implementation of age restrictions.

"Parents and caretakers should be able to rely on correct advisories in order to utilise the parental locking system correctly," says the BCCSA.

The BCCSA received complaints from people saying they were shocked that the movie Daybreakers was shown on M-Net (DStv channel 101) with an advisory of PG13 displayed on the electronic programme guide (EPG) while the actual rating of 18VL was indicated on the screen and the movie was not blocked by the parental locking system.

Nightmare images

The BCCSA held that the "nightmare images" were not at all suitable for children and that "the horror content of the film was likely to have had a very harmful effect on a substantial number of children".

The BCCSA imposed a fine of R20 000 to demonstrate that this is a serious transgression on the part of MultiChoice.

One of the complainants, Debbie Hubbard, told the BCCSA: "I complained to MultiChoice and as of today they have not gotten back to me. At the customer care at MultiChoice they denied at first the movie was age restricted 18. Then I called another supervisor who said, no, it was 18, they made a mistake.

"MultiChoice makes millions and what is the point of having parental lock if they can't be bothered to check what movies they are screening?"

MultiChoice argued that there was partial compliance with the BCCSA code of conduct because the film was broadcast at 21:30 after the so-called "watershed" period, that the correct advisory of 18VL for the film was displayed on screen as well as announced and that such errors are not repeated by the same channels.

The BCCSA accepted MultiChoice's apology but was still of the view that "the error amounted to aggravated negligence."

In response to a media enquiry about the BCCSA fine, MultiChoice told Channel24 that "MultiChoice respects the decision of the BCCSA and will abide by its decision".


  • liezelb - 2011-07-20 16:08

    Oh pahhh-lease. If your child is so young and impressionable, yet still awake at 21:30, you are doing it more harm with sleep depravation! Daybreakers is not so scary afterall.

      Anonymous Thinker - 2011-07-20 17:49

      And let's not forget the harsh and mich worse reality children see, do & hear about on a daily basis in this country! If they're going to fine the TV channels for showing inappropriate age things. Then surely newspapers, magazines and TV news should be fined as well?

      AlrightyThen - 2011-07-20 19:28

      Your reasoning is... wait.. you have none! If you won't protect your kids from stuff that may give them nightmares that is your (pathetic) choice. Some of us actually love our kids enough to guide and protect them from anything they may not be ready for. You make me think of parents who give their toddlers booze and cigarettes because it's 'part of life'. Think past your booze bottle you selfish morons! - 2011-07-21 11:05

      I have to agree - parents need to be more in control of their children's extra mural activities until they are of the "voting age" - 18 at least - when they should be adult enough to make informed decisions between what is good for them and what is not. I began watching the movie in question and fell asleep within the first five minutes so where is the scary?

      Rajty - 2011-07-21 11:56

      You obviously dont have kids..

  • liezelb - 2011-07-20 16:11

    ps - if your child happens to see the vulgar porno cellphone ads (and I'm not referring to the uneventful "news" show) after 12am on ETV, he/she will be scarred for life. Perhaps you should focus more effort on helping animal welfare or orphans instead of instigating fines that just go back into business. Tighter the reigns at home with manual parental care.

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 21:08

      we are talking here about Multichoice/DSTV/MNET, not ETV..... big difference

  • Trevor - 2011-07-20 16:12

    Multichoice should be fined for stealing from it's subscribers by playing YEAR in YEAR out the same old series and movies.

      Yoni - 2011-07-20 21:25

      I agree, and the paltry amount of R20 000.00 in respect of such a rich company is like giving a motorist who clocked 210 km/h only a R2.00 fine.

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 21:49

      "MultiChoice doesn’t schedule programmes but buys ready-made local and international channels. Each channel schedules new and recurring programmes according to a programme or movie’s license specification. MultiChoice arranges the channels into DStv packages and broadcasts the channels." Just remember, programs are expensive (with newer programs very expensive and older less expensive) and you get what you pay for. If there was no repeats and every single day there was brand new shows/episodes on the channels, we would not be able to afford it and DSTV will then be exclusive just for the rich people.

      arrie1912 - 2011-07-21 10:43

      If you dont like it, go watch TOP TV

      Megan - 2011-07-21 13:17

      No Trevor, they shouldn't be fined for showing the same old content... No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to pay for and watch the content. One of the pure advantages of being an intellegent human being is the ability to make our own choices. And really, your choices are simple... continue paying for something you don't like/want/need or cancel you subscription... easy no?

  • CTlaaitie - 2011-07-20 16:22

    How much will they have to pay if we consider how they repeat everything over and over. Some channels like Universal channel have the same programming as a year ago, even the movies are repeated from last year. Thats the way it is when one have no real competition. DSTV so much more 'repeats'!

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 21:48

      mmmm...the fact that you are a laaitie explains your lack of knowledge...the universal channel is part of the Universal Networks a Division of NBC Universals. (please do not tell me "but it is thus South African. No this is only the south african region website for the universal channel) Now, NBC is American. The shows on the Universal channel is determined by NBC not by multichoice....huge difference. "MultiChoice doesn’t schedule programmes but buys ready-made local and international channels. Each channel schedules new and recurring programmes according to a programme or movie’s license specification. MultiChoice arranges the channels into DStv packages and broadcasts the channels." Just remember, programs are expensive (with newer programs very expensive and older less expensive) and you get what you pay for. If there was no repeats and every single day there was brand new shows/episodes on the channels, we would not be able to afford it and DSTV will then be exclusive just for the rich people.

      TheDood - 2011-07-21 10:00

      @Xavier... you a multichoice employee by any chance? The service is not value for money. They know they are the only choice for entertainment so what else are the people going to do? It's not like you can choose between Sky, Virgin Media and half decent terresrial channels. Its either repeats of half decent stuff on Mnet or pretty much nothing much to watch on TV unless you can speak a multitude of languages which is fair play anyway being public broadcasters.

  • Michael Pitt - 2011-07-20 16:36

    oh please grow complain about something else !!!!! this is a load of horse manure , change the channel then or go read a book !!!!

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-07-20 16:52

    R20k is pocket change for Monochoice.

      Captainmorgan - 2011-07-21 09:23

      I love "Monochoice" LOL

  • HowardX - 2011-07-20 17:19

    Nanny state...

  • opiniononly - 2011-07-20 17:25

    The time a movie is screened is irrelevant. Who watches live TV anymore? You PVR and then watch whenever you feel like it, or you watch DSTV on demand.So she probably did what I did, set up recordings for the week and watch when you want. I record things for my kids to watch on the weekend. I don't always watch with them and I do use the PG rating as a guide. I can see how this could happen. They shouldn't punt their PVR system and then hide behind screening, it's one or the other chaps, you can't havi it both ways!

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-20 21:01

      Got to agree with you there. I'm not that clued up yet with my PVR but I'd probably do the same when my kids can move beyond watching Barney.. R20 000 is nothing... they should have been fined 200k - its not like the poor dearies can 'unwatch' the movie now and there are some pretty scary zombie vampires in it. Wish someone could have stopped me watching 'It' as a kid... Anyways, you're right, cant have it both ways!

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 22:16

      @snoopydog typical, you are incompetent as a parent and blames other people, now you blame other people because you watched "It" as a child, wow! It is your own fault that you watched "It", take responsibility for your own actions please, I assume you are a grown up and not a 2 year old child anymore...ffs!!!!!

      daaivark - 2011-07-21 07:56

      Ridiculous statement, opiniononly. Not everyone has the gadgetry you brag about so very unsubtly. I reckon the vast majority of viewers view the normal way. Thank heavens it is only your opinion and no-one else's as there would be a lot of snobbish fools around.

      opiniononly - 2011-07-21 09:27

      @ daaivark no actually, not bragging, that is a case of someone with a chip on their shoulder thinking someone was pointing to it calling it a plank. No, the reason we have a PVR is because there is very little worth watching for the adults, spread out at times that don't suit us through the week.We don't watch the crappy sitcoms churned out in bulk, we watch the decent stuff of which there is little. I also believe I am responsible for what my children are exposed to so we record things for them too, my 8 year old son loves ultimate Survivor, but there are often extremely violient adverts on there so on PVR we can FFW through them.My daughter who is 6 is obviously a different audience. @ Snoopy it really is worth getting to grips with it.Also press the Green button for DSTV on demand all the most popular Mnet programmes & sports matches are there. You don't have to record them + no adverts!

      TerraFic - 2011-07-21 12:43

      C'mon... they still broadcast the trinity channel or whatever it is called! Should be an age restriction on that, all the bull being spread by that channel and kids would be able to watch that!?

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-22 14:58

      @ Xavier.. Bite me! Clearly you don't have children, because adults who do don't tell other parents they are incompetent. We are all incompetent you dumbass... no one does it perfectly! Why don't you learn to read? And while you at it get off the roids or you'll never be a parent (not entirely a bad thing) I don't normally bother with little toads like you but I'm avoiding doing some work so... chill before you blow a foofie valve or something. I'm not blaming anyone for anything. I am perfectly in control of my life, my parenting and my emotions.. where as you sound like you need some help or some medication? I just agreed with opiniononly's view that they can't punt all the capabilities of the PVR system non-stop and then not take responsibility when the system fails and kiddies end up bypassing the parental lock. PS I wanted to watch It, I chose to. But I shouldn't have because I had nightmares for months after.. Grown up enough for you? Read it again from the beginning if its not clear...

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-22 15:03

      LOL ooh daaivark is a bit jealous... that technology is passing him by! PVRing good stuff to watch is far cheaper than spending every night propping up a bar.. Those of us who have kids can't afford babysitters and movie tickets so yay for PVR

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-22 15:08

      @opiononly that much I've figured out.. love it! I work nights so it suits me to watch the few shows I enjoy when I have time. My best is the rewind button so if you miss something you can see it again. Its bizarre but if you have DSTV and kids you might as well get the most out of it and get the PVR... I pvr educational TV like Mr Maker and Dora the explorer for my kids so that we can control their screen time. And now we finally getting view on demand. No more late fees at the video store! Yay!

  • Ndivhuwo - 2011-07-20 18:36

    BCCSA just wants money from Multichoice, when last was the SABC fined?

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-20 21:03

      They should be fined... for the crappola they expect people to watch!

  • AlrightyThen - 2011-07-20 19:23

    You are all a pack of morons! Some of us want to protect our kids in every way we can! By some of the reasoning on this site we may as well toss our kids to the pedophiles because: 'they see bad stuff in the newspaper every day'. Seriously. Idiots.

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 22:08

      If you don't want your children to watch certain content it is your choice, but then also take responsibility if your children watch something that you don't want them to watch and don't blame multichoice when it happens. If you are a poor parent, don't blame others for your incompetency. Remember, that it takes an idiot(you) to search for the splinter in other people's eye and don't see the plank in your own eye.

      Ollie - 2011-07-21 13:28

      Parents are always quick to blame someone else - it is your responsibilty as a parent to ensure that your children are watching what they are allowed to watch. Or is it easier to tell the children stop worrying me and watch TV????????

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-22 15:38

      yeah Ollie, when you actually find someone who wants to reproduce with you and you have sprogs of your own we'll talk again... you know what growing up is, realising that your parents are human and did the best they can under the circumstances, and no longer blaming them for all your shortcomings. Eh Xavier?

  • rickeydc - 2011-07-20 20:10

    Why are parents allowing their children to watch this in the first place??? So now Multuchoice is being blamed because parents are negligent?? Seriously... this is crazy...

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-20 21:12

      Because if its in the system as a PG13 movie then the programmed parental lock she don't work... And little Johnny can put it on himself when he gets home from school... Or you end up auto PVRing it along with Dora the Explorer. You see? They had done it a few times before the fine was implemented.

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 22:09

      incompetent parents...that's why!!! Always blame others for their incompetency

      Xavier - 2011-07-20 22:30

      @snoopydog Ever heard of human error. It happens, it is not as if it is every single show above PG13 which age rating they get wrong in the system. It is not as if you have never done something wrong either. In any case, if you don't want your children to watch something it is your choice but it is also your responsibility to make sure they don't watch it and not expect multichoice to do your parenting work for you. Some people should have been banned from having any children as surely they are incompetent when it comes to parenting.

      Mishka - 2011-07-21 10:33

      This Xavier person is definitely a huge Multichoice fan, employee, looking for a promotion and / or raise................

      mokoenk - 2011-07-21 10:59

      @snoopy88- u approach a red light at an intersection, u stop then a moment later it turns green, u look to your left and see that there is an approaching taxi that is definitely not going to stop. what would u do? cross because anyway because u have right of way? If multichoice has made this mistake before does it not bother you to be responsible enough, as a parent, to check the program out before letting your kids watch it? just in case... the epg does not take ultimate responsibility away from you as a parent.

      opiniononly - 2011-07-22 09:09

      The difference is Multichoice GETS PAID ( A lot!)to do the job properly.If it cost us R50.00 a month I doubt this discussion would be happening. Accountability and responsibility people. You can't accept money, but think that doing the job any slip shod way is acceptable, think of any other sector doing the same? You going to defend them too, just go around the pothole, the poor oke in the roads department just made a MISTAKE when he forgot to fix them, it's your fault as an incompetant driver if you can't avoid a pothole. You see, we need to say "if you get paid to do a job - any job- do it properly."

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-22 15:23

      Sigh.. Xavier and Moekenk - I'm a mother of three children under 5 and I write school books for a living from home so I can be here for my kids.. so please don't be giving me your trite little lecture about incompetent parenting. Go back and read the article and the comments again... I await your apology. Did either of you ever pass comprehension in English?

  • Xavier - 2011-07-20 21:06

    NOOOO!!! wtf, the tv news and news papers are more scary than daybreakers...

      Jazz - 2011-07-21 09:07

      Shut up already xavier. You are irritating all of us.

      onthefence - 2011-07-21 10:13

      I took the Xavier offramp.......dead end

  • Alisha - 2011-07-21 07:12

    switch to top tv, much better......

      Captainmorgan - 2011-07-21 09:21

      Top TV shows movies from the previous century only

      mokoenk - 2011-07-21 11:01

      they(top tv) have made that mistake a number of times already this year.

  • daaivark - 2011-07-21 07:53

    It was billed as a vampire movie, for God's sake. Who cares what the rating was. People knew what they were being offered. Pathetic.

      PurpleDragon - 2011-07-21 09:57


  • Marcus Westin - 2011-07-21 08:26

    How absolutely ridiculous! Children play TV games that are way more violent! There are much more violent TV programs and movies than Daybreakers that are broadcast on many channels throughout the day. And how can parents even start to monitor what sites their children visit on the internet or what messages they receive on their mobile phones? To complain about this movie is just nonsense.

  • wesley.howells - 2011-07-21 09:26

    Hey Daybreakers is an awesome movie in my opinion. Its more like a 16VL If you wanna push it. I remember when I was 14 in 2000 The South Park movie was supposed to 18R like the MNET series counterpart is till this day, but Ster Kinekor gave it a 13LV (for more ticket sales of course). I didnt see parents complain back then.

  • mario@1 - 2011-07-21 09:37

    well then the local news channels should also be fine?what about all the improper behaviour of our country leaders that do and say whatever they want on national t.v?#just saying

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-07-21 09:53

    they must also be fine for always showing repeats

  • Tom - 2011-07-21 10:05

    Have any of you bright sparks ever considered the FACT that you don't actually need DSTV or even SABC TV of any description in your homes? Think about it - why not spend time doing things with your children, showing them things, educating them, conversing with them - rather than watching cr@p on tv? Or are you terrified you'll find out you don't actually like your own life/wife/kids/job/existence?

      onthefence - 2011-07-21 10:12

      No @Tom - it's just you we don't like....

      jaquanau100 - 2011-07-21 11:15

      The problem with what you trying to say is that children will not see it in that sense. They live for watching tv and that will definitely push them more into the direction in doing wrong things.

      DirtySamurai - 2011-07-21 13:28

      Amen- moved to JHB two years ago, yet to plug in the aerial to the wall but TV works for occasional DVDs. Couldn't be happier.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-22 15:35

      I guess your wife does everything while you crack open a beer? My kids get an hour of TV time a day and its 30 min at a time when I have to make their food and feed the baby. I dont agree with using TV as a babysitter but the odd bit of interactive educational TV is sometimes a necessary evil... And sunday family movie and popcorn night? Thing is if you love movies and good TV.. Why not? As long as you're not spending hours and hours vegging in front of it. Everything in moderation. Don't know about other parents but TV is about the only entertainment I can afford these days!

  • Mz A - 2011-07-21 10:26

    Debbie Hubbard, what is your young child still doing up at 21.30 at night?? Don't go looking for something to complain about. Put your child to bed at a decent hour and you shouldn't have to worry about them watching age restricted movies.

  • -141-Sean - 2011-07-21 10:28

    If you click the Daybreakers link above it says the movie is 16LV?

  • Faizal - 2011-07-21 11:01

    Xavier, you probably angry at the world beacause your parents named you Xavier. I'm just curious were you dropped when you were a baby?

  • Ian - 2011-07-21 11:08

    i work for a dvd store chain and yes the movie in question was passed by the fpb with an age restriction of 16, if dstv choose to make there own rules well sorry for you, pay up boet

  • nick - 2011-07-21 11:09

    I believe everyone is missing the point ? It is concerned parents such as Debbie Hubbard, who take the time and energy to keep organisations such as Multichoice on their legal toes ! It really has nothing to do with who watches what, but to ensure public broadcasters toe the line. If it were not for such peole, all of us (young and old) would be subjected to an abomination of programs at anytime of the day and night! There is an old saying..... "All it takes for evil to flourish, is for good men to nothing about it" ! Well done Mrs Debbie Hubbard !!

      Gouetor - 2011-07-21 13:02

      She might be right about dstv, but if she's such a good parent, why is she allowing her young kids to be up after 21:30??

  • Warren Richardson - 2011-07-21 11:16

    Thank God I never had nagging parents like these......

  • SAGirl - 2011-07-21 11:26

    Kids should be left to be kids for as long as possible. In today's society that is difficult with everything they are exposed to but still their innocence and youth should be preserved in ANY way possible and if thats blocking a movie on a channel then so be it.....WAKE UP MULTICHOICE!!

      KanaMay - 2011-07-21 19:22

      My parents moved the TV to their bedroom and we the kids were only allowed to watch our favourite programs if we'd behaved. With the limited time allowed for TV, we watched no news coverage. We did read some newspapers so the social knowledge aspect was covered somewhat. Unfortunately, some savvy kids made fun of our unworldly habits (like not knowing who a popular singer was) but the fact is, I sang better than some pop idols since I did extra music lessons while other kids watched TV.

  • Totman - 2011-07-21 11:27

    I thought, when opening the rapport, they were fined for giving someone eye poisoning[like food poisoning] for showing old stuff. Xavier, yes Dstv is for richer people. That is why it cost R 559 p/m. Go and look at there portfolio as a group and tell me if it is not a shame to become so big and strong while showing old stuff "because they can't effort newer stuff" Also look at there new "stuff" and where they bought it from. To have a new production date, but a 4th rate movie does not mean provide value for money. They have now for years too many projects funded by there subscribers without improving there products in general. You will be surprised what you can get for free that they apparently give you xtra in your deal. Just move outside SA or get a proper dish with different receivers doing outer bands as well. You can refer to there sport, but they are not funding it directly. Sponsors do and when prices going up they increase there's. They even start demanding what time events must take place. They have us all by the b... Me too. Try to get certain sport channels in any bundles.

  • Gerhard - 2011-07-21 11:38

    Oh my, what a bunch of miserable South Africans you are!By the third comment you were no longer debating anything, completely departed from the subject, by the 5th comment you were down to what you are all so good at, slinging mud between the whiteys and the darkies. If you could see yourself from the outside. Wow, lighten up down there, it is not so bad, after all.

  • bentz5000 - 2011-07-21 11:39

    20K, Multichoice literally make that type of profit in 5min. That isnt even peanuts for them.

  • magszinovich - 2011-07-21 11:43

    Parental block? Please.. the password is 1234. Has been and always will be!

      Gouetor - 2011-07-21 13:03

      you can actually change the password...

  • Spinnie - 2011-07-21 12:41

    Read the manual. Go to the section called Parental control and shut up. If you don't know your way around a DSTV then you need to kicked..... hard.

  • Megan - 2011-07-21 13:13

    Again, the responsibility to discipline, educate and protect our children fall on everyone except the parents.... My only problem with our current technological age is this naive attitude that because of things like "parental locks/controls" parents feel that they are no longer responsible for the activities of their precious little darlings.

  • Future Human - 2011-07-21 13:26

    Where's the porn channel???????? Action X sucks! (excuse the pun:)

  • Elton - 2011-10-17 12:51

    Daybreakers has an age restriction of 16 (on the DVD box cover) so not even the age restriction of 18 is correct - what a bunch of idiots (and that includes the writers of the news - surely you should investigate and make sure of your facts before publishing something?)

  • norman.vanderlinde - 2012-11-29 12:26

    I think parents are getting too lazy recently. It is so much easier to blame someone else instead of actually taking the time and responsibility to raise your children. I am a parent and my son is old enough now to make these decisions for himself but when he was younger if he wanted to watch a late movie we would be there to watch it with him and would have seen the age restriction and stopped him watching it. Take responsibility to actually be a parent instead of blaming the media for your shortcomings!

  • misstee.langhein - 2012-11-29 13:10

    Its a horror movie not a hear and see worse things on the news on a daily basis and that doesnt even have an age restriction. jeeez i used to watch worse horror movies when i was 12, i begged my mom to see them, and she let me...i didnt have nightmaresand stuff, it actually made me NOT believe in all the "scary" monsters in the movies, if in the first place you know its about vampires and you dont want your kids exposed to it even if it is rated 13, dont let them watch it. But if they want to they should be ready for it...when i begged my mom to watch horrors at a young age and she let me, i LOVED IT, certain kids love certain movies... and till today i love horror movies-stephen king is my hero!! When my mom used to come home from shopping with a good old horror movie she thought was right for me, i was beyond happy!!!! Parents need to stop being so paranoid. Its your responsibility to monitor what your kids watch not DSTv's responsibility...

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