Porn channel debate about state control: TopTV board

Contrary to reports that the majority of On Digital Media’s board turned against the plans of its pay TV satellite broadcaster to launch porn channels, TopTV said its board feels the issue has become about freedom of choice.

“The issue at hand is no longer about whether TopTV should be allowed to broadcast adult entertainment on its platform but rather whether any institution or state can determine what South Africans can or cannot watch in their homes on their television screens,” was the official word from TopTV on its board’s stance on the matter.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has since denied TopTV’s application for three more channels to air porn on, saying that they will give reasons for the decision within 30 days from Friday, 27 January 2012.

This comes after ICASA was granted an urgent interdict by the High Court to prevent TopTV from launching its new porn channels.

The interdict was granted despite TopTV’s statements that a regulatory blunder on ICASA’s part meant that their application should actually be automatically approved.

It is understood that the regulations require ICASA to deny an application within 60 days. If ICASA doesn’t respond, which is what happened in this case despite TopTV’s reminder to the regulator, the new channels are automatically approved.

Asked whether they would appeal ICASA’s decision, TopTV said that they are waiting for the regulator to motivate its decision to deny their application first.

ICASA said that should TopTV wish to appeal, they are free to do so.

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Porn channel debate about state control: TopTV board