Playboy TV Fined By U.K. Broadcasting Watchdog

Playboy TV Fined By U.K. Broadcasting Watchdog
Jeff Berg
LONDON — Playboy TV has been fined £25,000 by British media watchdog Ofcom for broadcasting a hardcore adult film on its encrypted satellite channel at the beginning of May last year.

The fines stem, in part, from an airing of “Sandy: Babe Abroad,” an episodic series detailing the lesbian adventures of a plucky blond as she travels around Europe.

“The committee was not able to determine whether the transmission of the material was deliberate,” announced Ofcom’s content sanctions committee. “But even if it was not, the broadcaster was certainly negligent in permitting such a serious breach and should be sanctioned.”

According the commission, Playboy TV made a bevy of errors during May last year, including broadcasting material during a free-to-air preview that was overly explicit and broadcasting certain material before 10 p.m.

“The free-to-air material was, in particular, insufficiently protective of the interests of children,” said the commission. “For the avoidance of doubt, Ofcom wishes to make it clear that any such infringement is not to be tolerated.”

Playboy TV has admitted to the breaches and agrees that the violations were serious.

“We made an error and we accept the adjudication,” Playboy TV Managing Director Jeremy Yates told the Guardian Unlimited.

The commissions’ ruling is the latest in a long line of recent moves that the entertainment watchdog has made against adult programming in recent months.

On Thursday, the group successfully convinced United Kingdom Broadcasting Minister Andrew McIntosh to pass down an order banning the sale of equipment used to view hardcore European satellite channel Extasi TV.

“I have viewed the material from the channel and consider that a proscription order would be in the public interest, in particular to ensure that children are not exposed to such potentially harmful material,” McIntosh said.

Under the government order, Extasi TV would be banned from advertising goods or services within the country, as well as publishing time schedule or other information about the channel’s programming.

The order also forbids people giving or offering to give content to the channel.