South African Regulator Stops TopTV From Broadcasting Porn

Jan 27, 2012 7:30 AM PST

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — TopTV has lost its bid to provide South Africa with its first-ever paid adult satellite programming.

South Africa's communications regulator, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has refused to allow the company to broadcast softcore Playboy Europe, and hardcore Private Spice and Adult XXX channels.

TopTV applied to ICASA for permission to air the bouquet of adult programming, but after receiving no response, it decided to move forward and launch this month.

But the company’s application was challenged by ICASA and sent to the High Court which ordered ICASA to make its decision by Jan. 31.

ICASA spokesperson, Paseka Maleka said the regulator would release the reasons for the denial of the On-Digital Media, Pty-owned channel wihtin the next 30 days.

In a letter to Reuters, ICASA said, "We advise that the Council of the Authority ... decided, after careful consideration, to refuse On Digital Media (Pty) Ltd's application for the authorization of (the proposed) video channels.”

Although porn video and magazines are legal in South Africa, broadcasting has been prohibited.

TopTV isn’t the first channel to be blocked. Nasper’s DSTV was forced to pull its adult channel application after an outcry from anti-porn consumers and disapproval by government officials.

The broadcaster denied comment until it reviews ICASA’s decision.

TopTV has the right to appeal the decision.

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