StarSat resumes ‘Adult’ programming

South Africa’s StarSat (formerly ODM/TopTV) has restarted its controversial adult programming. The decision was made as the broadcaster is mounting an appeal at South Africa’s Supreme Court against the decision to force the broadcaster to end transmissions.

A Cape Town court in November 2015 had ruled that the broadcasts should end.

Meanwhile, StarSat is still waiting for South Africa’s ICASA regulator to transfer the broadcasting licence held by ODM/TopTV to China-backed StarSat. Once the transfer takes place then the Business Rescue Plan (South Africa’s version of Chapter 11 bankruptcy) as far as ODM/TopTV is concerned can be wrapped up.

Former TopTV CEO Eddie Mbalo, now a consultant to StarSat, told IT Web, that “Until this process is concluded, we cannot capitalise the business. StarTimes has taken a risk and paid some of the costs incurred by ODM, but for all shareholders to start investing in the business, we have to conclude the business rescue.”

He added that StarSat believed it was a waste of time re-submitting an application to ICASA to licence the adult programming as it did not believe the regulator had the competence to rule. “We do not believe ICASA should act as a censor and make decisions on R-rated content. Classification should be done by the Film and Publications Board. That’s why we believe the Supreme Court will reach a different finding.”

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