South Africans Want Their Porn TV

South Africans Want Their Porn TV
Bob Johnson

CAPE TOWN — Record numbers of South African citizens and organizations have told the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) that they want pay TV operator TopTV to be allowed to broadcast porn.

The formal public authorization request that outlines TopTV's plan — usually boring and routine — has shattered the local TV industry record with 285 submissions to the broadcasting regulator. The outpouring marked the largest number of submissions ever received.

TopTV has applied to run a bouquet of three 24-hour adult subscription channels that includes Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice in an effort to pull it our of financial troubles.

On Digital Media (ODM), which runs the struggling TopTV service, voluntarily backed out of a public hearing at the beginning of 2012 when it filed a similar application. At that time, company brass failed to deliver answers to ICASA regarding its porn bouquet and encryption plans.

TopTV reportedly took a hit to its brand as a result of the failed attempt at providing the adult service. The new channels would help the struggling company, but it said it still needs private investment to keep it afloat.

Subscribers under the new service would have to use a double PIN to access the channels and it would be restricted to users 18 and over.

The regulator now has to decide when a public hearing will take place as South African law currently prohibits the broadcasting of porn by pay TV operators. "We are currently analyzing all the submissions," an ICASA official said.

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