Thursday, May 7, 2015

On Digital Media fined R25 000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa for broadcasting porn channels without permission.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has fined On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media South Africa R25 000 for illegally broadcasting hardcore pornography on South African television without permission and approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

The R25 000 fine follows after satellite pay-TV operator ODM and StarTimes Media SA kept broadcasting its pornographic TV channels on StarSat from 10 December 2014 to 6 January 2015, after it lost its appeal in the Western Cape High Court which ruled that StarSat needs to shut down its porn channels.

ODM revealed that 284 StarSat subscribers accessed the pornographic TV channels during this period.

On 3 November 2014, Judge Lee Bozalek in a Western Cape High Court judgment, found against ODM and StarTimes Media SA's sex TV channels and that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) erred in the licensing and licensing process of granting a licence for the porn channels.

 After Justice Alliance of South Africa (Jasa) won its case against ODM's porn broadcast, it took the satellite pay-TV operator to the BCCSA as well.

ODM has to pay the R25 000 fine before or on 30 June and the BCCSA's tribunal found in its judgment that On Digital Media had contravened the code for subscription broadcasters.

Jasa asked the BCCSA to fine ODM R60 000 - the highest fine which can be levelled by the BCCSA - but the complaints commission said that a R60 000 fine was not justified since the service had been provided to less than 300 StarSat subscribers.

"A fine of R25 000 is sufficient to indicate the seriousness of the offence," said the BCCSA.