TopTV Looking to Porn Channels as South African Savior

Jan 14, 2013 9:00 AM PST

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Struggling cable TV giant TopTV’s second attempt to launch a porn channel in South Africa is in the cross-hairs of a faith-based conservative group dead set against the pay TV company’s plans.

The Family Policy Institute (FPI) has reportedly put the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on notice saying it will call for a nationwide boycott of TopTV if the broadcast regulator gives the company the green light.

TopTV’s plans call for the launch of Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice as a separate bouquet with a PIN code opt-in system.

The financially strapped company is now technically insolvent, attracting only 166,000 subscribers of its original plan to sign on 350,000 subscribers when it launched in the South African market in 2010.

TopTV told ICASA it’s anxious to begin programming “to give TopTV a fighting chance of survival.”

The FPI is outraged that ICASA is entertaining TopTV’s new bid for porn and is demanding that the regulator deny its application for the second time.

FPI spokesperson Errol Naidoo said, “If this goes ahead, we will call a nationwide boycott against TopTV, its advertisers and sponsors. This may end up being that TopTV does not exist in South Africa.”

A South African public referendum on the issue had 21 working days from Dec. 19 to comment on TopTV's porn channel plans. The deadline is Jan. 18.

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