Pay-TV broadcaster ordered to stop screening porn

starsatpornThe Western Cape High Court today (Monday, November 3) ordered StarSat to stop broadcasting pornographic channels with immediate effect.

Upholding an application by Justice Alliance for South Africa (JASA), Cause for Justice (CFJ) and Doctors for Life (DFL), Mr Justice Bozalek, struck down the licence granted by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in April 2013 to On Digital Media (owner of the struggling pay-TV broadcaster which was formerly known at TopTV and which later became StarSat) permitting them to broadcast three pornographic TV channels after 8pm in the evening. He found that ICASA had erred in providing a licence to StarSat to show hardcore pornography on television.The applicants were awarded their costs against both ICASA and ODM.

The effect of the judgment is that broadcasting of the porn channels which have about 400 subscribers must cease forthwith as from today. The Respondents have 15 days to lodge an appeal. 

After an unsuccessful 2011 application to broadcast porn, ODM applied to ICASA a year later in November 2012 for a licence to screen the three porn channels on StarSat. ICASA received a total of 644 written representations in relation to ODM’s application, more than 90% of which opposed the application. Despite the overwhelming opposition to the ODM application, ICASA authorised the channels in April 2013 and the channels have been on television since.

In December 2013, JASA, CPJ and DFL filed papers in the Cape High Court for an order reviewing and setting aside ICASA’s decision. After hearing the matter from August 4 to 7 ,Mr Justice Bozalek ordered counsel back to court on Monday, October 13, to make further submissions.

Advocate Darryl Cooke and Attorney Elana Hannington of Norman, Wink and Stephens appeared for JASA.

One Comment

  1. Now e-tv and SABC need to clean up their act. I’m so tired of obscenities and licentiousness being allowed under the much abused “right to free speech”. While home and community influences are a major factor, the secular media have contributed to the lowering of moral standards in society.