SportxxxBabes' licence threatened

Raunchy UK-based adult channel SportxxxBabes has escaped an Ofcom fine for what the TV regulator described as a failure to transmit within the rules for adult-sex material in November 2007. SportxxxBabes was fined £20,000 in August this year for similar breaches of Ofcom’s strict rules on transmission.

Satellite Entertainment Ltd (SEL) owns the channel. This time, the channel’s provocatively dressed “presenters” were under the supervision of a new producer, who SEL admitted had not been made aware of Ofcom’s guidance. “[SEL] confirmed that it had taken steps to rectify the problem and to ensure that it did not happen again,” says Ofcom.

“We are extremely concerned by the broadcaster’s failure to ensure the material it broadcast on the channel on 19 and 20 November 2007 complied with the Code. The seriousness of the breach was aggravated by the fact that it occurred just after Ofcom had published a number of Findings about similar content on 22 October 2007 in Broadcast Bulletin issue number 95. In one of these Findings, against LivexxxBabes (a channel also operated by SEL), Ofcom made clear that “depictions of masturbation, simulated or otherwise, are not appropriate for unencrypted broadcast unless there is strong editorial justification.”

“In view of all the circumstances of this case - including the broadcaster’s quick and frank admission of the breaches, the steps taken to rectify the problem and the subsequent improvements to the channel’s content in terms of compliance with the Code - Ofcom finally decided not to do so.”

“However, should breaches of a similar nature occur on the channel in future, Ofcom will not hesitate to consider referring the matter to the Committee for consideration of a sanction, which could include the imposition of a financial penalty or revocation of the broadcaster’s licence,” said an Ofcom statement.