Cape Town – The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered MultiChoice to stop telling DStv subscribers a TV show is new when recycled shows pushed to other DStv channels are actually old.
The ASA found in favour of a DStv subscriber who complained that DStv was describing the American sitcom Mom as new "when it was old content that is being repeated for the umpteenth time" on Naspers' satellite pay-TV service.
The ASA ordered MultiChoice to withdraw the claim that Mom, starting its 3rd season on is new.
DStv subscriber Alison Job lodged a complaint against DStv at the Advertising Standards Authority and also said that a "so-called brand new series of Doc Martin' on ITV Choice (DStv 123) was also old and recycled TV content.
MultiChoice in its defense argued that the ASA "does not have jurisdiction over this complaint as it relates to programming publicity" and that the "promos were not misleading".
MultiChoice also argued that Mom was previously only shown on M-Net (DStv 101) and that the on-air promo on DStv was announcing that Mom’s 3rd season was coming to Viacom International Media Networks Africa's Comedy Central (DStv 122) channel for the first time.
Because the 3rd season of Mom was on Comedy Central for the first time and because DStv subscribers who don't have access to M-Net as a DStv Premium subscription channel, MultiChoice said Mom was indeed "brand new" to these subscribers.
The ASA in its ruling slammed MultiChoice and said that "one would not expect the label 'brand new' to be applied to a show that has been available in South Africa since 2013".
"In the second place‚ the claim makes no reference to the channel. The words 'only on [Comedy Central]' further aggravate the matter," the ASA found.
"By making this statement, the implication is that this is the only channel to ever air this 'brand new' season."
"In fact‚ these old seasons have been aired on at least one other channel‚ if not more. They are also‚ most likely‚ available as DVDs," the ASA said.
The ASA found that the MultiChoice claim "Mom 3 brand new season, Tuesday only on Comedy Central" is misleading.
The ASA said said MultiChoice isn't allowed to make misleading claims in programming publicity.
*Channel24 is part of Media24 a subsidary of Naspers.