Toptv licence to air porn

By Drum Digital
24 April 2013

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has granted pay channel Top TV rights to broadcast pornography, the regulator said on Wednesday.

"Icasa hereby gives notice that it has authorised On Digital Media (operating as TopTV) to broadcast the three adult content channels Playboy TV, Desire TV, and Private Spice within the watershed period," Icasa said in a statement.

The authorisation of the application followed an extensive public consultation process which Icasa undertook prior to granting the application by On Digital Media (ODM).

"The authority upholds the view that there is no law of general application prohibiting the production and distribution of adult content in the republic. Only the production and distribution of child pornography is expressly prohibited by law," Icasa said.

The authorisation limits the broadcast of the adult content from 8pm to 5am.

"All the security measures including the double pin code as outlined in the application should be in place to safeguard children's rights."

Icasa found most of the representations made were based on moral grounds rather than research to demonstrate claims that pornography and gender-based violence were linked.

"It is the authority's view that indeed there is no basis or law for the rejection of Top TV's application."

Last month, the Family Policy Institute said Christian and civil society groups united behind a boycott of TopTV as the company sought permission to broadcast three porn channels.

The institute announced the boycott at a march outside Parliament in Cape Town against rape and violence against women and children.

"The Christian church is deeply concerned that the introduction of three pornographic channels in South Africa will exacerbate the current crisis of rape and violence against vulnerable women and children," director Errol Naidoo said.

"Research overwhelmingly indicates the widespread and easy availability of pornography is harmful to society."

Naidoo said more children were being exposed to pornography on the internet and on TV.

The Apostolic Faith Mission of SA, Assemblies of God of SA, the Baptist Union of SA, the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, and Church of England in SA are among the churches that joined the boycott.

-Sapa

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