Cape Town’s Western Cape High Court has turned down an appeal from local pay-TV operator On Digital Media/TopTV, and which is in the process of being sold to China’s StarSat. The appeal was against an order which prohibits transmissions of adult TV channels carried as part of the ODM/StarSat bouquet. ODM/StarSat is broadcasting three channels including Playboy TV.
Judge Lee Bozalek had already determined that South Africa’s media regulator ICASA must review its decision to issue licences covering the three adult channels.
On December 9th the judge ruled that he correctly ordered that ICASA review its decision last year to license ODM’s adult channels. The ODM appeal application argued that Icasa’s decision was only invalid insofar as it failed to prohibit it from broadcasting films that had been classified as “X18”, in accordance with South Africa’s Film and Publications Act.
Judge Bozalek said it was not up to the court to exercise discretion. “These are matters which quintessentially lie in the province and expertise of ICASA. For all the reasons cited, they are not appropriately decided by a court,” he said, adding. “The appropriate remedy is remittal and not severance or substitution.”