South Africa ‘adult TV’ row resurfaces

Despite being officially licensed by South Africa’s broadcasting regulator ICASA, three so-called ‘Adult TV’ channels are again facing court action.

The channels are broadcast by On Digital Media (ODM, and which operates as TopTV), itself being taken over by StarGroup. ODM has faced multiple court actions demanding that the channels be taken down from its satellite service. The latest challenge comes from South African lobby group the Justice Alliance of SA (JASA) which says it filed an action against ICASA’s decision to allow the three pornographic channels to broadcast.

“Jasa believes that it is a step too far to introduce pornography to the family TV, which is usually in the only living room in the home,” Jasa said in a statement. “Inevitably children will be aware of it, even if parents attempt to prevent them watching. The 8pm watershed period is absurd because teenage children settle down to watch TV at that time after doing their homework.”

“As advised by counsel, Jasa alleged that Icasa erred in law in failing to find that the constitutional rights of children were laws of general application, which should have trumped the rights to freedom of expression,” Jasa said. “Furthermore, Jasa alleges that Icasa ignored their obligation […] to consider the moral and spiritual implications of TV channels”

The channels are owned by Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice.

ODM says the channels cannot be viewed accidentally. They are sold as a separate package and have other security devices including a dedicated pin-code.

The court application will be heard this coming Monday.

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