TopTV porn channel court battle looms

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has applied for a court interdict to prevent TopTV from launching its planned 24-hour porn channels, TopTV’s head of regulatory affairs Thato Mahapa has confirmed.

This comes after a dispute between the regulator and TopTV’s parent company, On Digital Media, about whether the broadcaster’s three new adult channels had been approved.

TopTV holds that ICASA had not decided on the matter within the 60-day period prescribed in regulations despite being reminded of it by the broadcaster, which meant that the channels were automatically approved.

ICASA, on the other hand, wants public hearings to take place before TopTV launches the channels.

In addition to the interdict, ICASA demanded that TopTV reveal their launch plans, which Mahapa said they did.

Mahapa explained that ICASA wanted to ensure that TopTV wouldn’t launch before the public hearings could take place.

Asked about the reasons ICASA gave the court to issue the interdict, Mahapa said that he couldn’t provide specifics on the contents of ICASA’s interdict application.

He was able to confirm that they have prepared their response and would be filing it tomorrow (11 January 2012). The hearing is to take place this Friday, 13 January 2012.

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TopTV porn channel court battle looms