How much skin will TopTV show?

2013-04-28 10:00

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Pay TV channel gets wish list, but only time will tell if customers get theirs

Get ready for TV listings such as Around the World in 80 Babes and 69 Sexy Things 2 Do Before You Die.

These are two of the shows that could soon be flighted by TopTV after they received the go-ahead this week to broadcast three porn channels.

And word is that once they start showing X-rated movies and TV shows, local adult films could be produced too.

The Icasa approval follows an almost six-month battle between it and TopTV’s parent company, On Digital Media.

Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka said most of those who deliberated on the decision didn’t want to grant TopTV’s porn wish, but couldn’t find a legal reason not to.

“People were against it for mostly religious reasons, or because they believe it is not morally correct and perpetuates violence,” Maleka said.

“TopTV explained itself. People get it on the internet and other countries have this already. Why not South Africa?”

So what exactly can TopTV customers expect to get from their R199 per month subscription now that porn is legal on their TV screens? Aside from TV shows like Hot Babes Doing Stuff Naked?

The package comes with three channels run by a partner of Playboy Enterprises that will run each day from 8pm to 5am — Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice.

Now showing on Playboy TV in other countries the shows include Naughty Amateur Home Videos and The Boy Nexxt Door.

TopTV’s Icasa application lists South African porn producer Viv Thomas as someone whose work will be aired on Desire. Thomas’ films include The Art of Kissing and Portrait of a Lesbian.

Sexuality clinician Dr Eve contributed a report to TopTV’s Icasa presentation explaining why South Africans have the right to subscribe to adult content, or what she calls “high-quality stuff”.

“My god, who wouldn’t want to watch it?” she said this week, laughing.

“I am not a big porn fan, but I want to have it available to see what it’s about. I’m curious. People are curious to see. Am I normal?” she said.

“Have I been doing sex right all these years?”

Charl du Plessis, editor of Playboy magazine in South Africa, which is part of Playboy Enterprises but not directly linked to the TV channel, doubts whether TopTV would have any “penetration of the middle class”, which is already dominated by DStv.

“Post-Fifty Shades of Grey, they think they can break into the middle class, but then people must explain (to visitors) why they have two boxes on top of their TV,” he said. “They would prefer to hide them in their bedrooms.”

With nine hours of porn screened daily, Du Plessis says the channels may have to incorporate local content to keep people watching porn on TV and not on the internet.

“It wouldn’t be very difficult for someone in a sleazy warehouse south of Johannesburg to get a couple of lights and video production,” he said. “But they should get a scriptwriter.”

Although TopTV has been given the go-ahead, it cannot yet say if they will actually start offering porn in their line-up.

Since the pay TV operator is under business rescue, they will not launch the stations until the company is taken over by new shareholders, said their public relations consultant Janet de Kretser.

In a statement, TopTV called the decision to grant them the porn licence a “victory for democracy and freedom of speech and choice in our country,” but proceeding with the launch of these channels will “be taken with due regard”.

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