TopTV looking to porn again for rescue

2013-01-11 12:35
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – On Digital Media (ODM) which runs TopTV has launched a second attempt to introduce pornographic TV channels in South Africa exactly a year after the country's broadcasting regulator denied TopTV's first application.

TopTV is currently under business rescue according to the Companies Act and seems to now believe that porn will save it.

Icasa confirmed to Channel24 that TopTV filed its second application for porn channels at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) just before Christmas.

TopTV CEO Eddie Mbalo responded to a media enquiry, saying "this is a new application and not necessarily what was denied to TopTV by the regulator."

The South African public and all interested parties have 21 working days from 19 December to comment on TopTV's porn channel plans with correspondence which can be sent to the following concerned party:

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

Fax 011 566 3200, or

E-mail pndube@icasa.org.za


Dented image

TopTV applied in 2011 to Icasa to launch a porn package as a separate bouquet with a set of 24-hour pornographic TV channels - Private Spice, Adult XXX and Playboy Europe - during Christmas 2011, although the operator had no approval on the channel application.

In a resultant court case following an urgent court interdict by Icasa, the South Gauteng High Court said TopTV had to wait for Icasa to have the public hearing on the channels. TopTV didn't appear before Icasa to answer questions regarding its own application and in early 2012 TopTV's porn application was denied.

TopTV's plans were met with huge public resistance. Scores of outraged TopTV subscribers cancelled their contracts and TopTV investors threatened to disinvest from the company.

All of it dented TopTV's public image and damaged its brand.

TopTV's first CEO, Vino Govender, at the TopTV launch in May 2010 said the company is run "with strong Christian ethical codes and we are not planning to introduce a porn channel" and that TopTV "doesn't want to poison the minds of millions of South African children out there".

In February 2012 TopTV announced that Govender was out with immediate effect, suddenly replaced by Mbalo as the new interim CEO. Later in 2012 Mbalo said Govender had "no broadcasting experience".

Porn to save the business?

Now TopTV, which is looking for something to save the troubled pay-TV operator, is looking at porn as a possible saviour of its business.

TopTV is trying for a second time and has submitted an application for authorisation for such channels to Icasa again.

TopTV has lost a number of general TV channels from its bouquet - the latest being three channels from Turner at the end of December without providing a reason.

The company entered business rescue at the end of October but has made no public announcement about the application for the new channels.

Asked whether TopTV has any news to share regarding its business rescue plan, Mbalo said that "the business rescue practitioner will communicate at an appropriate time any information that is for public consumption".

Asked why TopTV decided to apply for this type of channel again, Mbalo said "all the questions related to our application to Icasa will be responded to when we have our opportunity to respond during the public hearings if they do occur.

"The future of TopTV will be communicated at an appropriate time as part of the business rescue plan." 

Comments

  • iamtoo.smarteskse - 2013-01-11 12:44

    Top TV's porn application also had a huge amount of support from citizens, the problem is that no-one is willing to openly say that they want the porn as it would be embarrassing. If the porn is allowed, a huge amount of new customers would join TOP Tv which would over shadow the few who cancel their subscriptions. Let people make up their own minds about whether or not they want porn, it shouldn't be dictated by government. Porn is available easily over the internet so it shouldn't be a problem if someone wants to subscribe to it on TV. It's not as if stopping Top TV from broadcasting porn will stop most South Africans from having porn in their houses. It makes no difference but some people like to make themselves look like angels by fighting against porn. These high and mighty people should just mind their own business. They protest too much. Me thinks.

      vambozha.mutemi.9 - 2013-01-11 13:12

      ..yeah u right, i will go for top tv then but still keep my dstv for supersport i guess!

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-11 13:47

      Work for toptv?

      preshen.govender.12382 - 2013-01-11 14:02

      Porno to save the day

      roboman1 - 2013-01-11 14:23

      I am not one for supporting a porn channel, but if no one forces me to use Top TV, then it is ok for them to have it for those who enjoy porn. But I still think Top TV will colapse, because I do not think porn will sustain their business model in SA

      fussed.anderson - 2013-01-11 15:21

      We want porn, We want porn, Bring it on now

      Mark - 2013-01-11 16:08

      We, the w@nkers of South Africa, demand a porn channel.

      Kwajo.m - 2013-01-13 02:21

      When are we expecting the respond from ICASA? Well am in.

  • adrian.snyman.16 - 2013-01-11 12:53

    I am sure there is gonna be a lot of friction about this again. But at the end of the day, it becomes a personal right/freedom of choice to subscribe to this. No, I will never take up the offer, because of my beliefs. But I am not going to push that on everyone else.

      cc.fourie - 2013-01-11 13:53

      Thanks Adrian

  • Jane - 2013-01-11 13:10

    How sad, the only way to up your viewership and increase your profits is by adding a porno channel? Why not try putting some current series on? Or here is a shocking idea, some decent movies and documentaries. I made the mistake of subscribing to TopTv when it was first launched and everything was repeated ad nauseam.

      Mewik - 2013-01-11 13:45

      If people let them have porn that will allow them to bring in enough money to challenge DSTV for the rights to broadcast current top rated series and then add more channels to their current offering. So until people that supposedly don't watch porn stop complaining about something that will have ZERO impact on their happy little lives we will unfortunately all continue to be bent over by DSTV and pay R600+ a month for rubbish repeats that we have all paid for a 100000 times over and should all own on collectors edition box set DVDs by now. A new company cannot compete with DSTV as DSTV will simply out bid them for shows time and time again then only leave them with the dregs.

  • PureProteas - 2013-01-11 13:17

    How I wish sky and channel 4 would rescue us from no choice and bottom tv, today on supersport 2 there were 3 transmission breaks, 1 during a interview and 2 during the first session, what are we paying these clowns for

  • jaco.prinsloo.370 - 2013-01-11 13:18

    Want to save your company? Then add Vh1 and a decent MTV channel which do not play urban and R and B all the time, as dstv's video music channels suck!

      grant.logan.94 - 2013-01-11 13:28

      TOPTV at least has the best music channels

  • grant.logan.94 - 2013-01-11 13:19

    DSTV needs competition, let them have the porn, dstv has the sport.

  • lybon1 - 2013-01-11 13:37

    WHATS WRONG WITH HAVING PORN ON TV????.....give me a good reason

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-11 13:49

      You'd never go out for fresh air again... Sunlight is good for you.

      Mewik - 2013-01-11 13:54

      @squeegee.pilot comment of the year so far. Well played!!

      lybon1 - 2013-01-11 17:46

      Pilot.....hahahaha....gud one.....but wat if u hv internet in your home.....y wuld u go out

      lybon1 - 2013-01-11 18:06

      Pilot.....hahahaha....gud one.....but wat if u hv internet in your home.....y wuld u go out

  • lulu.shezi - 2013-01-11 13:39

    ag top tv should either find a way to compete with dstv or just close its doors

  • Barefoot - 2013-01-11 13:43

    agg not again! TopTv if u want to fire your CEO think of another creative reason this one is getting old like planking.

  • teboho.martin.3 - 2013-01-11 13:52

    The top tv CEO is out of touch! Why can't he look after super sport not this nonsense stuff.

  • wesselo1 - 2013-01-11 14:13

    Im sure a lot of the religiots jumping up and down about the porn in public, will be the first to privately subscribe to the porn channels once available

  • goodness.masuku - 2013-01-11 14:17

    it shall not be granted!

  • tasneem.cader.7 - 2013-01-11 14:32

    Wots wrong with having porn on, if u don't wna watch it then don't watch. The option is ther for those who want it,its not forced upon u to watch!

      andrew.g.wilkinson - 2013-01-11 15:11

      The movie Eden just came out on DVD, you should watch it. Maybe research the sex industry for a few minutes, how would you feel if your daughter was forced into prostitution or making porn? Also try researching human traficing..There is no excuse for your ingnorance.

      cc.fourie - 2013-01-11 16:05

      The movie Jaws just came out on DVD, you should watch it. Maybe research the holiday/travel industry for a few minutes, how would you feel if your daughter was forced into the sea or went swimming? Also try researching shark attacks..There is no excuse for your ingnorance[sic].

      fussed.anderson - 2013-01-12 07:57

      @ andrew.g.wilkinson Ok so whats your excuse or do you only want to play by yourself

  • maneo.molefe - 2013-01-11 14:45

    I'm concern about the innocent kids, other than that, most people i mean most of us do secretly enjoy porn, but no pastor, priest will admit that.

      cc.fourie - 2013-01-11 15:59

      TopTV previously said that the porn channels will be password protected. This makes it VERY easy to control. Stopping kids from accidentally stumbling across porn on the internet is much harder to do - that is a much bigger problem.

  • lovell.trevor - 2013-01-11 14:48

    We argue that there's nothing wrong with porn and that it's all fine - nothing like some gratuitous sex. But thinking about it raises a number of issues: Rape is also sex - what happens when the line gets pushed further back when we get tired of 'ordinary' porn and the appetite for more extreme sexual encounters increases. Do we start allowing channels for bestiality or incest or actual rape? We argue that it's a voluntary subscription but the thing with that argument is that there are often children in the house and I would hazard that some of those households don't enforce proper parental guidance for TV. Does this open the door for an even more sexed up youth? We argue that it's our right to behave the way we want to in the privacy of our own houses and that we're not impacting on others, but it seems that violent scenes at US schools have their roots in a violent entertainment industry. Surely this is affecting people outside your own four walls? What about sex slavery and human trafficking - noted for being one of the largest criminal industries in the world at the moment? We argue that violence on TV is becoming problematic - look at the terrible gun violence so prevalent in the USA at the moment. Do we introduce a real murder channel to feed the extreme appetite for those looking to watch 'real' horror? At some point a line should be drawn, otherwise we headed down a very dangerous path. I would like to argue that nothing truly positive can come from porn.

      mark.barker.370 - 2013-01-11 15:31

      IDIOT!!! - rape is certainly not sex!! Maybe in ur house , but don't tar everyone with ur filthy brush. Animal

      cc.fourie - 2013-01-11 16:10

      Almost everything in life is bad if done in excess. Porn is no different.

      lovell.trevor - 2013-01-11 19:36

      @mark. You're right, sorry my piece might have been a bit poorly written regarding the rape portion. I agree that rape is not sex, i abhor it, however the act of penetrative sex is sex. That's what I was trying to get at. Didn't mean to sound like an animal. In terms of legality of things in our society, now, murder may very well be illegal. But who's to say that down the line society's stance would change and murder became legal in certain instances. Legality is a fickle and relative notion. @clinton. You're right my kids will inevitably be exposed to porn. I'm not burying my head over that argument. But why help create a world where access to porn is free and easy. My job is to explain to my kids what porn is, I don't have to sit them down and watch it with them to explain it.

      fussed.anderson - 2013-01-12 08:02

      @ lovell.trevor - just give it up, You have made an ass of yourself already.

      regan.strachan - 2013-01-12 08:55

      Why are you apologizing to someone who calls u an idiot, when your intention are pure. Yes rape is not sex but is it really necessary to call someone a animal for expressing there opinion, I for on fully understood what you were trying to imply, pornographic material does put ideas into peoples minds, like things to try with others and what do you thinks going to happen next if you can't find someone willing to experiment on your newly found ideas. Not everyone who rapes people is born sick it most likely started with planting the wrong seed. LIKE PORN ON TV!!!!

      lovell.trevor - 2013-01-12 19:08

      @clint, we're already watching live murder on tv. Go and ask CNN and sky and any of the news channels for a copy of Muammar Gaddafi's death or Saddam Hussein. I'll guarantee that those clips probably skyrocketed their ratings. We continually push our line of what is right and wrong further and further. Where do we end? It's human, we can justify just about everything. But sometimes we have to take stock and say enough is enough. Scientific discovery undoubtedly humankind's most amazing talent but without an ethical backdrop it could become catastrophic. And as for the argument about my kids being exposed to porn and making bad decisions: should I allow drugs in my house to better educate them so that they can discern which cocaine is better for them?

  • joy.evans.1291 - 2013-01-11 15:14

    Someone should inform the management team that no Financial Institution is permitted to fund operations with interests in porn. This initiative will undoubtedly starve Top TV of any current and future funding.

  • joy.evans.1291 - 2013-01-11 15:18

    Someone should inform the management team that no Financial Institution is permitted to fund operations with interests in porn. This initiative will undoubtedly starve Top TV of any current and future funding.

  • bretton.eveleigh - 2013-01-11 15:25

    So glad I've unsubscribed from TopTV! I certainly hope DSTV doesn't follow suit if TopTV's application is successful.

  • marilyn.glockle - 2013-01-11 17:58

    Oh you sad people!!

  • Giel Bee - 2013-01-11 20:09

    I supported them from day one because i didn't look at them as competition for dstv but rather an alternative choice for lower income people. By the way they offer prepaid packages to people, how cool is that. Anyway seems to look like they are in the same boat as the cheaper airlines out there. I really feel sorry for these companies as they are creating employment and entertainment to those who really need it.

  • leon.vanderlinde.14 - 2013-01-11 20:47

    Unfortunately is Top TV's people deaf or they do not want to listen. They should move away from trying to be a Multisource clone. Stop telling people what they must have as a choice of channels. Let the viewer choose himself. Don't force pre-made packets down their throats. Let them build their own packets. Then you will have everybody in South Africa move to you. We are sick and tired of the American way of telling us what we want. It does not work. Look at how Top TV suffers. Wakey, wakey Cussin.

  • siboniso.sikhumbuzo - 2013-01-12 01:46

    jah 2 bad toptv why sex channels?

  • leon.deswardt.9 - 2013-01-12 05:56

    People, especially religious folks need to butt out of other people's lives. These channels are choices. Unless published peer reviewed studies can be presented that prove the negative claims made by these folk. For myself it's bad enough that toptv runs fox channels. Rather complain about that.

      cc.fourie - 2013-01-12 08:17

      Amen

  • bra.tabs - 2013-01-12 07:15

    I hate sports

  • regan.strachan - 2013-01-12 07:47

    Unfortunately the truth behind porn is that it sells and can generate cash pretty fast, putting it on tv just makes it to easy but it could possibly bring down the cost of all other modes and mediums currently used to broadcast porn Eg internet & cell charges, the downside is that once Top Tv gets go ahead everyone else will apply for broadcasting rights as they to know the profit in it and it opens the door, I have been to adult shops porn movies is not so costly to own so why not go out and buy your own collection that way you can control what you like to see. This is like opening up a pandoras box u damned if u do and damned if u don't (just my thoughts)

  • leslie.kasinganeti - 2013-01-12 09:22

    Grave mistake that i pray will never be allowed.We all know the disastrous effects of porn.If South Africa wants to experence a sharp decline in morality and increase in divorce rates.Introduce pornography

      cc.fourie - 2013-01-12 09:55

      No, we don't all know the "disastrous effects of porn". Porn is mostly harmless. Most of the time it actually help to spice up a couple's sex life. But you only have to look at the number of religious wars and other atrocities committed in the name of religion to know that religion does far more harm to society than porn or anything else ever will.

      bra.tabs - 2013-01-12 14:20

      Save us the drama, open any newspaper, anyday, u'll be shocked.

  • rose.mcmillan - 2013-01-14 12:17

    NO NO AND NO AGAIN TO PORN TV. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW PORN TV TO GO AHEAD

  • mike.evans.923519 - 2013-01-15 10:47

    To all saying porn on tv is so bad I have a question. Why do people get upset looking at something that is natural? We all do it at some point to have kids. There are people that also enjoy it. Some like to watch. Then the other thing. Look at the violence on tv at the moment. It is totally unnatural. Murder is not normal. Look at Soaps on TV. Is it normal to cheat on your partner? Yet nobody say anything about that. In fact most complaining here will be the first ones to sit and watch it. The bottom line is EACH and EVERY one has the right to watch what they want.

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