Plug Pulled on Struggling South African Satellite Porn Provider
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Beleaguered South African satellite TV provider On Digital Media (ODM) has filed an appeal to let it continue to air its porn channels after a Western Cape High Court ruling pulled the plug recently.
ODM was broadcasting its suite of adult channels that included Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice under its StarSat license granted by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) last April.
But now the court found that the governing body made a mistake in allowing StarSat to air hardcore claiming that ICASA failed to appoint experts to vet the StarSat content and also neglected to register with the Film and Publications Board as an adult content provider.
Last May, ODM was also challenged in court by non-profit organization the Justice Alliance of SA (Jasa), and supported by Cause for Justice and Doctors for Life.
Judge Lee Bozalek ruled the matter be remitted back to the second respondent (ICASA) for reconsideration.
An ICASA spokesperson, Paseka Maleka said the regulator is considering its strategy in the case. "The ICASA council is yet to resolve on whether an appeal should be filed or not."
ODM interim CEO Eddie Mbalo said he believes a different judge could have come to a different decision on the matter.
Some analysts feel that the decision could spell the end for the financially struggling pay TV service, but Mbalo has publicly denied StarSat was relying on its porn offerings as a means to survive.
"It's far from the truth to say that we are doing this as a means to save the business. We are fighting for the principle that South Africans should have the right to watch whatever they want in their homes. In this, I think we have succeeded,” Mbalo said.