Porn channels: ‘they could rescue topTV’

2013-03-08 00:00

TOPTV’S three planned pornography channels would certainly help the struggling service out of its financial woes.

Amid widespread speculation that TopTV is a sinking ship — which it denies — the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will hold public hearings next week to test the waters on the issue.

According to TopTV, it has applied for a licence to broadcast three overseas channels — Playboy, Private Spice and Desire.

Professor Johannes Froneman, of the North West University’s communications department, said this would be a shrewd way of drawing more viewers.

“I have no doubt that pornographic channels would increase TopTV’s viewership. From a business standpoint, that could just rescue TopTV.”

The hardcore channels would broadcast 24 hours a day, but would be sold as a separate package accessible only with a pincode supplied to buyers after they had proved they were aged 18 or older.

“Sex sells,” said Froneman.

“From a legal standpoint, I don’t know how one could stop it. There are restrictions on the sale of pornography, but it is not illegal.

“If you are staring bankruptcy in the face and you’ve got no moral problem with it, it is certainly something for TopTV to consider,” he said.

Icasa previously denied TopTV a licence for the channels.

The high court in Johannesburg last year granted an urgent interdict forbidding TopTV from broadcasting the channels without Icasa approval.

“I expect they will get permission in the end, whether or not people want it ,” Froneman said.

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