Court orders review of StarSat's pornographic content
Rebecca Hawkes
| 05 November 2014
The South African communications regulator ICASA must review its decision to allow pay-TV provider StarSat to broadcast three pornographic television channels across the country, the Western Cape High Court has ruled.

The subscription-based channels – Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice – are the first adult channels to be broadcast within South Africa.

ICASA granted On Digital Media (ODM) a licence to broadcast the channels via its pay-TV platform formerly known as TopTV, in April 2013, after initially turning down the application. In court, the regulator admitted it had failed to appoint experts to consider StarSat's application to add adult channels. ODM had also failed to register with the Film and Publications board (FPB) as a purveyor of pornography.

The case, which concluded on 3 November 2014, dates from November 2013 when the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA) submitted an application to the court for ICASA's decision to be reviewed in a bid to stop the broadcast of pornography within South Africa. The alliance was joined by two other non-profit organisations, Doctors for Life and Cause for Justice.

"The authority will have to study the judgment and apply its mind thereof," said ICASA spokesperson Paseka Maleka after the ruling.