Playboy loses VOD appeals
Published: 11.42 Europe/London, May 16, 2011 by Julian Clover

Playboy TV has failed in its attempt to overturn an adjudication by VOD regulator ATVOD that two of its adult websites fall within the scope of UK regulation. Ofcom rejected the two appeals on Friday.

The two adult video-on-demand websites operated by Playboy TV UK were judged by ADVOD to be covered by rules for ‘on demand programme services’ with the requirement that sex videos available on the websites must be kept behind access controls which ensure that children do not normally see them.

The ruling is based on the definition of whether or not the videos were ‘TV-like’. Playboy TV had argued that because the video content on Demand Adult and Climax 3 features fully explicit sexual images, and was therefore too explicit to be broadcast on UK television, it was not TV-like and was not therefore subject to the new ATVOD rules.

In determinations made in September and December last year ATVOD ruled that while more explicit than adult programmes shown on UK TV services, the videos were nevertheless comparable to such programmes and were essentially the same as ‘adult’ programmes which are frequently broadcast on linear TV channels in other EU jurisdictions.

“The idea that a video on demand service should escape regulation on the grounds that its content was too extreme would make a mockery of the whole purpose of regulation in this area which, in large part, is designed to protect children from exposure to video content which poses a risk of serious harm,” said ATVOD chair Ruth Evans.

ATVOD was established in March 2010 after being designated by the communications regulator Ofcom as the co-regulator for VOD editorial content.