South Africa hopes to stop porn TV
09.42 Europe/London, January 11, 2012 By Robert Briel


The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has applied for a court interdict to stop TopTV from launching porn TV channels, reports Business Day.

TopTV, a satellite DTH platform that competes with MultiChoice’s DStv, plans to launch three adult channels.

“By offering these channels on a secure and encrypted pay-TV platform, it will not be possible for the three additional channels to be viewed inadvertently by TopTV subscribers,” according to Marius Liebenberg, SVP, sales and marketing of TopTV

“Recent research has shown that there is a definite market for adult content and channels among South African television viewers. As a pay-TV operator, we are constantly reassessing the market. We have established that there is a niche market for such a service and are ensuring that we offer it to potential subscribers in a responsible and secure environment.”

On Digital Media, the company that owns TopTV, said last month it would go ahead with the launch of the channels despite Icasa’s objections. It argued that the regulator had not finalised its application in the required three months and TopTV was therefore legally entitled to go ahead.

ICASA has now decided to take legal action to stop the channels from launching. The case is expected to be heard in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday, January 13.

Last month, the Family Policy Institute in South Africa, a pro-marriage and pro-family non-profit organisation, said some Christian organisations planned to boycott TopTV after it had announced the launch of the channel. It said they would also boycott TopTV’s advertisers and sponsors.

The latest bid to get porn on to South African television screens comes just months after pay-TV broadcaster MultiChoice decided to can its foray into adult TV following widespread objections from the public.