January 27, 2012 / 8:40 AM / 8 years ago

S.African regulator refuses TV porn channel bid

CAPE TOWN, Jan 27 (Reuters) - South Africa’s communications regulator, ICASA, has refused permission for satellite television network TopTV to broadcast three sexually explicit channels, TopTV said on Friday.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said it would provide reasons later for its decision not to allow the broadcasting of the channels Playboy Europe, Private Spice and Adult XXX.

“We advise that the Council of the Authority ... decided, after careful consideration, to refuse On Digital Media (Pty) Ltd’s application for the authorisation of (the proposed) video channels,” ICASA said in a letter to TopTV seen by Reuters.

Pornographic material, including videos and magazines, is legal but regulators have blocked bids for sexually explicit channels on cable TV networks.

Last year, the DSTV broadcaster owned by Naspers, was forced to cancel its adults-only channel application in the face of consumer outrage and disapproval by senior government officials.

TopTV is owned by On Digital Media. Among its shareholders is Luxembourg-based telecoms operator SES Astra.

TopTV said IT would not comment on the regulator’s decision until it had time to study ICASA’s reasons.

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