Ofcom to Consider Encrypting 'Babe-Style' Channels

Anne Winter
LONDON — Communications industry regulator Ofcom has warned its "babe-style" channels — free-to-air channels featuring near-nude women — that they could face encryption.

The five "babe" channels, which do not require a subscription to view, allegedly feature explicit adult content, including on-air masturbation and promotion of premium-rate phone lines.

After receiving several complaints, Ofcom said it is considering revising its code to require access to all channels in what it considers to be the adult sector to be protected by a mandatory personal identification number.

The code currently states that nonsubscriber channels are not allowed to show any adult or sexual material whatsoever. An Ofcom representative said that it would take immediate regulatory action should there be any further code breaches.

The five channels in question — Get Lucky TV, Lucky Star, Star Bazaar, LiveXXXBabes and Show Off U.K. — all were reprimanded.

Get Lucky TV, Lucky Star and Star Bazaar, responsible for offering premium rate text-message and photo services, were told to remove the ads, despite the channels' claims that they were integral parts of its programming.

The complaint against LiveXXXBabes revolved around several extended shots of female presenters apparently masturbating with dildos, scenes that the channel claimed were simulated and not in any way authentic.

Ofcom concluded that regardless of authenticity, if material is considered to "exceed generally accepted standards," it breaches the regulatory code.