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Top TV Intends to Broadcast Porn to Rescue Itself

Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 2013-01-14

South Africa is going to erupt with three new pornographic channels if TopTV has its way. On Digital Media (ODM) which runs Top TV, has launched a second attempt to introduce pornographic TV channels in South Africa exactly a year after the country’s broadcasting regulator denied TopTV’s first application.

TopTV is currently under business rescue according to the Companies Act and seems to now believe that porn will save it. The Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) confirmed that Top TV filed its second application for porn channels just before Christmas.

TopTV CEO Eddie Mbalo responded to a media enquiry saying, “This is a new application and not necessarily what was denied to TopTV by the regulator.”
The South African public and all interested parties had 21 working days from 19 December to comment on TopTV’s porn channel plans.

ODM applied for a license with the broadcasting regulatory authority last year to run at least three porn channels on South African television and the application was published in the government gazette on November 17.

In a resultant court case following an urgent court interdict by Icasa, the South Gauteng High Court said TopTV had to wait for Icasa to have the public hearing on the channels. TopTV didn’t appear before Icasa to answer questions regarding its own application and in early 2012 TopTV’s porn application was denied

The decision by TopTV is a far cry from the pledge made by former CEO, Vino Govender when TopTV was launched in May 2010.In February 2012 TopTV announced that Govender was out with immediate effect, suddenly replaced by Mbalo as the new interim CEO. Later in 2012 Mbalo said Govender had “no broadcasting experience”.

Initially Govender promised that TopTV would not be offering or broadcasting porn even though it was considered before the launch. He said the company is run “with strong Christian ethical codes and we are not planning to introduce a porn channel” and that TopTV “doesn’t want to poison the minds of millions of South African children out there”. But now, South Africans have been dealt a blow with broken promises.

In their previous application, Top TV confirmed their intent to broadcast adult content and that it would only be accessible as a secure, encrypted and separate subscription package on the pay TV platform. Top TV said there was a definite market for adult content and channels among South African television viewers.

Meanwhile The Family Policy Institute (FPI) has called on broadcasting regulator Icasa to decline Top TV’s proposed application for the three pornographic channels. The faith based group has expressed outrage at the pay TV operator’s application to introduce the adult channels.

The institutes Errol Naidoo said he hopes the same will happen again. “I am shocked that the management of On Digital Media would consider this, especially in view of the massive public outcry against their previous unsuccessful attempts to introduce 24 hour porn channels on South African television,” said Naidoo.

He added, “We serve notice on Top TV that should they go ahead with this plan, we will call for a nationwide boycott against them, their sponsors, advertisers and we end up with Top TV seizing to exist in South Africa.”

South Africa is falling deeper into moral decay. Recent statistics indicate that more than 55 000 women are raped and sexually abused in South Africa every year. In addition, more than 25 000 children are sexually abused in our nation annually. The effect of pornography is blatantly evident, but at the end of the day it’s the dollars or rands that seem to do the dictating and subservience to an all mighty currency is not far fetched. It is clear we are fighting a losing battle in the war against porn.

Naidoo said, “Top TV’s empty assurances that parental control mechanisms will ensure that children are not exposed to hardcore pornography is shockingly naïve. Parental controls present very little challenge to children in an increasingly tech savvy generation. On Digital Media may rescue its ailing business but it will also accelerate South Africa’s startling moral decline, spewing foreign sewers into South African society can only be regarded as social suicide.”

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