ODM slapped on wrist for showing porn without permission

By Drum Digital
07 May 2015

On Digital Media (trading as StarSat and previously known as Top TV) has been fined R25 000 for broadcasting its porn channels for almost a month without approval from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).

In a ruling on Tuesday, the BCCSA tribunal ordered ODM to pay the fine before or on June 30.

The Justice Alliance of SA (Jasa) had complained to the commission after ODM continued to broadcast the channels during the watershed period despite the Western Cape High Court setting aside Icasa’s decision to approve the broadcasts.

The channels were broadcast without approval from December 10 to January 6 this year. On January 7, ODM officially lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal, which was later dismissed.

The BCCSA tribunal heard the matter on April 14, in which ODM conceded it had contravened the code for subscription broadcasters and argued that a reprimand would be an appropriate sanction.

The tribunal found that a maximum fine of R60 000 was not justified as the porn channel service was provided to less than 300 subscribers and special steps were required to access it.

It imposed a R25 000 fine instead on the basis that broadcasting a service without the necessary authority was a serious matter.

Jasa had also initially complained to the BCCSA about the pornographic content of the broadcast, but this was not entertained since the subscription code permitted the broadcasting of explicit sex scenes, except where it was it was violent or degrading.

The tribunal found that Jasa did not provide examples of such content and thus a prima facie case was not established.

News24

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