Du offers to block 'offensive' channels

Martin Croucher

DUBAI // Television subscribers are being asked whether they want to block channels accused of showing offensive content.

After receiving complaints about inappropriate content, du officials are contacting customers to ask if they want to stop receiving certain Russian and German TV channels.

"We are very sensitive to the local cultural ethics," said a spokesman for the company. "All our home customers, across nationalities, have the option of selecting TV packages as well as using control options on these channels, based on their personal preferences.

"On our part we make sure to communicate and remind our customers about the availability of the parental control options."

Nick Grande, the director of Dubai-based TV consultancy ChannelSculptor, said the problem was not confined to du. "It happens all the time, particularly with hundreds of smaller niche channels being imported from Europe and the States," he said.

"Sometimes the content will be deemed acceptable in those markets, but wouldn't be suitable for an audience in the UAE," he said. "The whole regulatory framework is still very much in development on the television side, so you're still reliant on audience response a lot of the time, in terms of what is acceptable and what isn't."

Du did not specify the nature of the material that prompted its actions.