Icasa denies TopTV porn application

2012-01-27 13:26

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has refused an application by TopTV to start a new hardcore pornographic package of channels.

It brings to an end an almost three-month public battle during which the pay-TV operator came under widespread criticism from wanting to introduce the Adult XXX, Playboy Europe and Private Spice channels in South Africa, Channel24 reported.

Icasa said it would provide reasons for denying TopTV’s application within 30 days.

The board of TopTV indicated that it would accept Icasa’s decision.

Asked for comment today, TopTV said the pay-TV operator will “wait for Icasa to provide their reasons for declining the channels. Until then we are unable to make any comments.”

Firestorm
TopTV ignited a massive firestorm when news broke that it wanted to start a separate subscription porn package which dented the pay-TV operator’s brand reputation in the past few months.

While the pay-TV operator became imbroiled in a separate bitter fight with South Africa’s broadcasting regulator over regulatory approval procedures, a massive public backlash battered the company with widespread criticism from the public.

Christians, Muslim and Hindu faith-based groups, as well as the Film and Publication Board (FPB), the trade union Cosatu and TopTV investors voiced strong opposition to the plan.

The majority of TopTV’s board became decidedly negative over the company’s porn plans in an urgent meeting this week.

No porn on TV
TopTV didn’t give an oral presentation at its public hearing for its channels application convened by Icasa on Monday and was strangely silent, while the FPB said that the Broadcasting Act clearly stipulates that the distribution of pornography can be done only through licensed stores and classified videos.

The FPB said that the sale of pornographic content is only allowed to be made to people over the age of 18 and that hardcore pornography can’t be broadcast on TV.

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