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 2010: Jan-March
 

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28th March   

Ethically Challenged...

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Ofcom to investigate the Islam Channel
Link Here

islam channel logo Britain's leading Muslim TV channel was last night accused of encouraging marital rape and promoting hatred and intolerance.

TV censor Ofcom launched an investigation after being handed a major report by counter-terrorism think tank Quilliam on the London-based Islam Channel, which has a worldwide audience of two million.

The report claims the Islam Channel's presenters and guests regularly make derogatory statements about women and their role in society .

In one programme, a guest tells viewers that Muslim women cannot refuse their husbands' sexual advances. He says: The idea that a woman cannot refuse her husband's relations this is not strange to a Muslim because it is part of maintaining that strong marriage. He said the concept of a woman's individual choice was something which is part of the Western culture, but not Islam .

A presenter said the main sources of problems facing modern society were caused by women. Viewers were told the majority of the people in hell will be women because they are the cause of calamities, hardship and suffering .

Last night an Ofcom spokesman said: This report raises some serious allegations. We will investigate where our rules may have been broken.

 

27th March   

Who Pays the Censor?...

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Ofcom suggests a fee of £2500 on each VOD provider
Link Here

ATVOD logo UK video-on-demand providers must pay a combined £375,000 to two bodies that will regulate their industry.

The Association for Television On Demand (ATVOD) was last week confirmed by Ofcom to co-regulate, along with it, the VOD sector.

Ofcom says 150 VOD services must pay the fees - but, despite reviewing the sector last year, it has not published a list identifying the companies affected.

Indeed, singling out those services which fall under the joint Ofcom-ATVOD auspice is tricky. The EC directive applies to TV-like services, which it says must not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality ; must provide appropriate protection for minors against harmful material and sponsored programmes and services must comply with applicable sponsorship requirements .

But what TV-like means is open to interpretation, as media continue to converge and innovate. After commissioning research in to the topic, Ofcom says the scope should extent to services that provide access to programmes that compete for the same audience as television broadcasts, and therefore, are comparable to the form and content of programmes included in broadcast television services . Only services that have editorial responsibility over their content are covered.

Specifically, Ofcom says catch-up TV websites and set-top box services, TV archives and movie VOD services [doesn't sound very TV-Like to me!] fall under regulatory scope.

Ofcom has opened a consultation with three options for raising the money:

  • Option A: Charging based on services' revenue, so as not to disadvantage smaller providers.
  • Option B: A mixture of revenue-based fee and a flat £1,000 fee.
  • Option C: A flat £2,500 fee. [Ofcom preferred option]

 

27th March   

Pre-teen Networking...

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Ofcom reports that Social Networking sites are popular with the under 13s
Link Here

Facebook logo A quarter of children aged 8-12 who use the internet at home say they have a profile on Facebook, Bebo or MySpace, new Ofcom research revealed. These sites have a minimum user age of 13.

But 83% of these children have their profile set so that it can only be seen by friends, and 4% have a profile that can't be seen.

Nine in ten parents of these children who are aware that their child visits social networking sites (93%) also say that they check what their child is doing on these types of sites. However one in six parents of this group are not aware that their child visits social networking sites.

Ofcom's annual Children's Media Literacy Audit provides an overview of media literacy among children and young people and their parents and carers.

The report also includes internet audience data which showed that amongst 5-7 year old home internet users, just over a third (37%) visited Facebook in October 2009 (but did not necessarily have a profile).

 

19th March   

ATVOD are the new VOD Censors...

Pete Johnson previously of the BBFC is the Chief Exec
Link Here

ATVOD logo The Association For Television On Demand (ADVOD) has confirmed a series of senior appointments as it takes over video on-demand regulation from Ofcom.

Ofcom has now officially handed over statutory powers to independent body ATVOD for supposedly light touch regulation of online video, including all consumer protection standards and guidelines for taste, decency and sponsorship requirements.

In response, ATVOD has restructured its operation. Former deputy chair of Ofcom's consumer panel Ruth Evans has been appointed to lead the organisation as its new independent chair.

Aside Evans, the five-strong ATVOD board includes former Channel 4 News editor Sara Nathan, Advertising Association chief executive Tim Lefroy, ASA Council member Nigel Walmsley and broadcasting compliance specialist Ian McBride. Sky's Daniel Austin, BT's Simon Milner, Virgin Media's Simon Hunt and Five's Chris Loweth will provide the ATVOD board with an industry perspective.

The organisation has further hired Pete Johnson as its new chief executive, after he previously managed VOD and packaged media regulatory policy for the BBFC.

This is a landmark moment for video on-demand services in the UK which offer programmes that are comparable to those shown on traditional TV channels, said Johnson, who will outline ATVOD's regulatory policy on March 25 at IPTV World Forum: On UK services, children will be protected from the most extreme content, and for the first time use of product placement and sponsorship will be subject to controls and restrictions.

Recent Ofcom research suggests that there are around 150 operators on the UK market that meet the statutory criteria for providing TV-like VOD services. All providers must now contact ATVOD before April 30 to outline their service propositions, with any firms meeting the criteria required to pay a fee based on the overall cost of regulating the sector . ATVOD said that it will soon launch a six-week consultation with Ofcom into the fee structure, in which all stakeholders will be able to have their say.

 

17th March   

Updated: The Missionary Position:...

All sex is bad, particularly on daytime TV
Link Here

this morning logo Those tuning into This Morning , eager to see their favourite cookery and fashion features, were instead confronted by two couples simulating sex live on air.

In one scene a young couple were shown testing out how to have sex when there is a height difference, while an older pair revealed the best positions to adopt when one party is tired.

It then featured a short interview with 23-year-old Dannii Frost, who complained she had never had an orgasm with her partner of three years. Although presenter Philip Schofield kept a straight face as the spectacle unfolded, it was too much for co-host Holly Willoughby, who spent most of the time giggling and pulling faces.

But not everyone was laughing last night. A few viewers have turned to internet message boards and to media groups to complain about the ITV daytime programme, which is dedicating much of its output this week to dealing with viewers' sexual problems and questions.

Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch UK, said: I've had people ringing in to complain about this and they are right to do so. Lots of people were offended. This was broadcast well before the watershed and when young children are likely to be watching. It is not appropriate. ITV have crossed a line here.

However Schofield was unrepentant, writing on his Twitter page: I am loving the "outrage" at This Morning's sex week. It was all perfectly decent and you got two warnings. And he warned that the rest of the week would cover sex toys, sexual taboos and infidelity.

Update: Ofcom's Position

17th March 2010. Based on article from broadcastnow.co.uk

Ofcom logo Ofcom is not planning to investigate viewers complaints about This Morning 's sex-themed week, Sex Up Your Life.

The regulator confirmed this morning that complaints had been made about models simulating sex positions on the morning television programme. A spokesman said there were no plans to investigate the complaints, which focused on the suitability of the show pre-watershed.

 

17th March   

Update: Banging On...

TV censor continues to tease the Bang Babe channels
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Babe Channel The UK TV Censor, Ofcom, has issued a final warning about the sexy content of the Tease Me babe channels

Bang Channels Ltd is licensed by Ofcom to provide the services known as Tease Me, Tease Me 2, Tease Me 3. Bang Media (London) Ltd is licensed by Ofcom to provide the service on Freeview known as Tease Me TV.

Ofcom has recently published in Broadcast Bulletins 151, 152 and 153 various breaches of the Broadcasting Code against each of Bang Channels and Bang Media. Ofcom also published various breaches of Condition 11 (retention and production of recordings) of their Licences. Since these breaches were serious and repeated, Bang Channels and Bang Media were warned that Ofcom was considering these contraventions for statutory sanction.

Despite these published findings, Ofcom is concerned that Bang Channels and Bang Media are continuing to transmit content that is in breach of the Code in that it appears similar in nature to that already found in breach of the Code on a number of occasions.

Ofcom therefore on 12 March 2010 issued formal directions against each of Bang Channels and Bang Media requiring them:

  • to comply forthwith with the Broadcasting Code (in particular sections 1 and 2) and Condition 11 of their licences (retention and production of recordings);
  • to stop transmitting forthwith any content which is materially similar to that already found in breach of the Broadcasting Code by Ofcom; and
  • immediately to confirm these actions to Ofcom in writing.

Failure to comply with a Direction given by Ofcom could give rise to consideration of a statutory sanction and may result in the revocation of relevant licences.

 

12th March   

Update: Big Mouth...

TV censor clears Vinnie Jones over the use of the word 'retard'
Link Here  full story: The R Word...Campaign against the word 'retard'

Vinne Jones Ofcom said that its TV programme code guarantees freedom of expression to broadcasters as well as the audience's right to view programmes without interference from the authorities.

It made the defence as it rejected a request, made by the mother of two disabled children, to discipline Channel 4 after Vinnie Jones said the word retard on a Big Brother off-shoot programme.

The regulator claimed it was editorially justified because the insult was directed at someone who is not disabled, and because viewers of the reality show expect a certain level of outspoken banter .

Lloyd Page, a spokesman for Mencap, the learning disability charity, said: As someone with a learning disability, I was disgusted and hurt to hear the word 'retard' used on Big Brother. We will never change people's attitudes if this sort of thing carries on. I hope Ofcom will realise why we want this to stop.

Nicky Clark, who made the complaint, added: Channel 4 has a commitment to ensure that diversity is fully and positively represented on its channel. If we are to have our faith restored in Channel 4's suitability to broadcast the Paralympics, it needs to show that it regrets this incident by apologising on air.

She had complained to Ofcom about an exchange shown on Channel 4's digital channel, E4, during an episode of Big Brother's Big Mouth in January this year.

Vinnie Jones was asked how he had known that Davina McCall, the presenter, had entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in a chicken costume rather than a fellow contestant. He replied that it was because she was walking like a retard , at which McCall laughed.

Ofcom rejected the complaint that the term was offensive, claiming that the context showed that it was not directed at anyone with any disabilities, and had been used light-heartedly.

 

10th March   

Update: Banging On...

Ofcom continue to get wound up by Bang Babes
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Babe Channel Bang Babes is an adult sex chat service, owned and operated by Bang Channels Limited, and available freely without mandatory restricted access on the channels Tease Me and Tease Me 3 (Sky channel numbers 912 and 959). Both channels are situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( EPG ). These channels broadcast programmes after the 21:00 watershed based on interactive 'adult' sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact onscreen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to contact the PRS numbers.

Ofcom have published another set of multiple whinges about these programmes:

Bang Babes, Tease Me, 7 November 2009, 23:30

Ofcom noted that the broadcast featured two presenters. Both women were topless. The presenter in black was shown apparently licking and spitting on the other presenter's genital area. She also pulled down the other presenter's thong, pulled her buttocks apart and licked her anal area. During the broadcast the presenter in black was shown bent over on all fours with her thong moved to the side to briefly reveal her genital area. The presenters licked and sucked each other's breasts. The broadcast also included close up shots between the presenters' legs while they apparently touched and rubbed each other's genital area.

Bang Babes, Tease Me, 13 November 2009, 23:00

Ofcom noted that the broadcast featured a presenter wearing a black thong and black stockings. Her top was pulled down to reveal her breasts. During the broadcast she adopted various sexual positions, including kneeling on all fours with her buttocks to camera and also lying on her back with her legs spread wide apart. While doing so the presenter repeatedly: pulled her buttocks apart to reveal her anus and genital area; spat on her fingers and vigorously rubbed saliva around her anal and genital area and rubbed her thong against her genitals; opened her legs to expose extensive labial detail; mimed the insertion of an object into her anus and the performance of oral sex on a man using her fingers; and spat saliva over her breasts.

Bang Babes, Tease Me, 24 November 2009, 22:00- 23:59

This broadcast featured two presenters. One presenter was wearing black fishnet stockings and a black thong. She was not wearing a top. The other presenter was wearing a red bra pulled down to expose her breasts, a red thong and red 9 stockings with large holes in them. During the broadcast the presenters were shown apparently licking each other's genital and anal area in a realistic way and on one occasion this act was carried out while one of the presenters had pulled her thong to the side. The presenters also licked each other's breasts, spat into each other's mouths and apparently simulated masturbation on each other in a realistic way by rubbing each other's genital area. The presenter in black was also shown miming oral sex using a phone and lightly slapping the other presenter across the face.

Bang Babes, Tease Me, 25 November 2009, 00:00 - 05.30

This broadcast also featured two presenters. One presenter was wearing a skimpy pink thong, pink socks and pink fingerless gloves. Her pink bra was pulled down to expose her breasts. The other presenter was wearing a skimpy red thong and black fishnet stockings. Her black fishnet top was pulled down to show her breasts. During the broadcast the presenter wearing pink pulled the other presenter's thong to the side and briefly but clearly inserted a lollypop into her vagina. The two presenters then sucked the lollypop. In addition, the presenters were shown bent over on all fours at various times, and due to the skimpy thongs they were wearing genital and anal detail was shown. The presenters touched and apparently licked each other's genital and anal areas in a realistic way. The presenters were also shown: miming the insertion of an object into their anus; miming oral sex using their fingers and a phone; spanking each other; and licking each other's breasts.

Promotion of the www.bangbabes.tv website address

In addition, after viewing the content complained of Ofcom noted that during all four broadcasts the website www.bangbabes.tv was promoted. When accessed by Ofcom this website featured images of a strong sexual nature equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material ( R18-rated equivalent material ) which could be readily viewed without appropriate protections.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.24 ('adult-sex' material is restricted to overnight services with mandatory restricted access)
  • Rule 2.1 (generally accepted standards)
  • Rule 2.3 (material which may cause offence must be justified by context) of the Code.

And predictably Ofcom found that all of these rules had been Breached

Ofcom also had a whinge about the following programmes where recordings weren't made available.

Tease Me, 31 October 2009, 00:00-05.30
Tease Me 3, 31 October 2009, 00:00-05.30
Tease Me, 5 November 2009, 00:00-05.30
Tease Me, 15 November 2009, 00:00-05.30
Tease Me 2, 24 November 2009, 22:00- 23:59

The Licensee said that on 30 November 2009 Ofcom requested recordings of five separate transmissions representing over twenty hours of broadcast footage. It added that it has invested heavily in developing off-air recording technology, which would facilitate the making of recordings. However, it stated that even the most advanced and robust of systems would have huge difficulty downloading over twenty hours of video footage.  It estimated that Ofcom's request cost its compliance team over eighty man hours or two working weeks .

So Ofcom also recorded a Breach of Licence Condition 11 (Retention and production of recordings)

Ofcom ended with the note:

On 8 February 2010 in Broadcast Bulletin 151 Ofcom published a number of breaches of the Code against Bang Channels Ltd. On 22 February 2010 in Broadcast Bulletin 152, Ofcom published further breaches of the Code. Broadcast Bulletin 152 also contained breach findings recorded against another Licensee, Bang Media (London) Ltd. These decisions relate to Bang Media's channel on Freeview, Tease Me TV. In the current Broadcast Bulletin (153) Ofcom has published further breaches of the Code.

Ofcom considers these breaches to be both serious and repeated. As is made clear in Broadcast Bulletins 151, 152 and 153 these breaches are serious and/or repeated and are therefore being considered by Ofcom for statutory sanction. Bang Media and Bang Channels are controlled by the same person and all editorial compliance decisions regarding both Bang Media and Bang Channels are taken by one compliance team.

For these reasons Ofcom will consider for sanction together all serious and/or repeated Code or licence breaches for which Bang Media and Bang Channels are responsible.

Comment: Look Again Ofcom

11th March 2010. from IanG

Ofcom said: "In addition, after viewing the content complained of Ofcom noted that during all four broadcasts the website www.bangbabes.tv was promoted. When accessed by Ofcom this website featured images of a strong sexual nature equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material (R18-rated equivalent material) which could be readily viewed without appropriate protections".

This is still an outright LIE Ofcom. There was/is no such material on this site available without a credit card and age verified subscription. And more to the point, YOU'RE not qualified nor empowered by law to make any such judgements. Strong sexual material means real, unsimulated, explicit sex acts - that's according to the BBFC's clear, concise, published guidelines. There was/is NO such material on this site available to anyone who isn't a verified adult subscribing member.

YOU need a refresher in what R18 ACTUALLY looks like Ofcom, because clearly, you've got some very strange and incorrect ideas about it.

 

9th March   

Update: Not So Friendly...

Babe channels fined £24,000 by the TV censor
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

bedroom tv logo Friendly TV, 3 April 2009 to 5 July 2009 Bedroom TV, 4 April 2009 to 22 April 2009

Both Friendly TV and Bedroom TV provide daytime chat and (post watershed) adult sex chat services encouraging viewers to call a premium rate service ( PRS ) telephone number and talk to an onscreen presenter.

Bedroom TV ceased broadcasting in November 2009. Friendly TV ceased broadcasting in January 2010.

Springdoo Media Ltd owns and operates the television service Friendly TV.  User Generated Broadcasting Ltd owns and operates the television service Bedroom TV. Springdoo Media Limited and User Generated Broadcasting Limited are sister companies under common ownership and control. All editorial compliance decisions regarding the companies were taken by a centralised compliance team.

On 26 February 2010, Ofcom published its decision to impose a statutory sanction on Springdoo Media Limited in respect of its Friendly TV service, for seriously and repeatedly breaching the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and for failing to comply with condition 11 of its Television Licensable Content Service Licence ( licence ). Ofcom also published its decision to impose a statutory sanction on User Generated Broadcasting Limited in respect of its Bedroom TV service, also for failing to comply with condition 11 of its licence.

Summary of Decisions

Springdoo Media Limited (owner of Friendly TV) was found in breach of the following Code rules:

  • Rule 1.6: transition to more adult material post-watershed
  • Rule 2.1: generally accepted standards
  • Rule 2.3: material that may cause offence must be justified by context.

Ofcom found Springdoo Media Limited in breach of these rules due to the following conduct:

  • Broadcasting strong and explicit sexual images which were not suitable for broadcast in the period immediately following the 21:00 watershed on a service which was freely available to view without access restrictions (breach of Rule 1.6). The broadcast of such images, so close to the watershed, caused serious concern for Ofcom.
  • Broadcasting sexual material that would have exceeded the expectations of viewers watching a channel without access restrictions, especially those who may have come across this content unawares (breaches of Rules 2.1 and 2.3).

Ofcom imposed a financial penalty of £6,000 in respect of these Code breaches by Springdoo Media Limited.

Springdoo Media Limited (owner of Friendly TV) and User Generated Broadcasting Limited (owner of Bedroom TV) were also both found in breach of  Licence Condition 11: The Licensee shall adopt procedures acceptable to Ofcom for the retention and production of recordings in sound and vision of any programme which is the subject matter of a Standards Complaint

Ofcom imposed financial penalties on Springdoo Media Limited and User Generated Broadcasting Limited of £6,000 and £12,000 respectively for breaches of condition 11 of their licences.

In total, Ofcom imposed a total financial penalty of £24,000.

 

25th February   

Update: Save Our Babes...

Babe and Adult Channel Viewers Association
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

BACVA logo I think melonfarmers maybe interested to know a group of members at www.babeshows.co.uk forum and myself are launching a new campaign/organisation to represent adult viewers in the UK.

We are calling ourselves BACVA (Babe and Adult Channel Viewers Association) and our campaign blogsite is at www.bacva.blogspot.com .

We would welcome anyone interested in improving the rights of adult viewers to view adult material on UK TV to join us.

From www.bacva.blogspot.com

Re Ofcom's ongoing assault on Babe channels

Ofcom's hypocrisy is self-evident. Of the dozens of hardcore channels available in the UK via non-$ky satellite systems, Ofcom have proscribed (banned) just one in the last 5 years, despite the fact these systems have no mandatory PIN protections and children under 18 could easily access them. Moreover, Ofcom received over 30,000 complaints re the BBC airing Jerry Springer: The opera and did nothing, nada, zip, ziltch. Yet they get ONE complaint from some over-sensitive desexualised cretin and launch a full frontal attack on programmes many tens of thousands of people are quite happy with. It's not Democratic, balanced or remotely right. Indeed, it is discriminatory and likely illegal sexual discrimination on the grounds of our orientation toward open acceptance of sexually explicit material in favour of those who wish to restrict and control our enjoyment of life - there's a reason many of us are angered by Ofcom's actions, and this is it! Our rights are being ignored and abused!

 

25th February   

Skating on Egg Shells...

Ofcom consider the term 'faecal matter' justified in the context of Dancing on Ice
Link Here

Dancing on Ice logoDancing on Ice
ITV1, 31 January 2010, 18:15

Dancing on Ice is a well-established programme format in which, over a series of weeks, a collection of ice-skating pairs consisting of one celebrity and one professional skater compete in an ice-skating talent contest. Each week, after each couple has performed, their performances are judged and given a mark by a panel of judges.

Ofcom received 443 complaints concerning this particular edition of the programme, regarding the comments made by one of the judges, Jason Gardiner, about the performance by the former Olympic swimmer, Sharron Davies. Complainants considered the comments offensive and upsetting and unsuitable to be heard by children.

Ofcom noted that as part of his comments about the initial routine performed by Sharron Davies and her professional partner, Pavel Aubrecht, Jason Gardiner said the following: It was like watching faecal matter that won't flush it goes around and around and around and in the end it doesn't go anywhere.

Ofcom considered the complaints under:

  • Rule 1.3 (children must be protected by appropriate scheduling)
  • Rule 2.3 (material that may cause offence must be justified by the context).

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach

It is well-established in these types of programmes that the judges comment on performances in a manner that some may find offensive.

In this particular edition, after the initial routine performed by Sharron Davies and Pavel Aubrecht, Jason Gardiner made the following remarks:

OK, I'm giving you a '2' for improved leg lines and arm lines absolutely but for me this is also about performance and your skating is on one level; and I don't know what it was it was just like the brown costume and everything. It was like watching faecal matter that won't flush it goes around and around and around and in the end it doesn't go anywhere. You've got to give me a performance level, there's got to be some sort of a journey with you.

Ofcom recognised that the reference to faecal matter was potentially offensive to a number of people. However, under Rule 2.3 broadcasters can transmit offensive content, as long as it is justified by the context. In this case, Jason Gardiner used what Ofcom believed was unusual language to Ofcom to describe the performance of Sharron Davies.

However, Ofcom considered that Jason Gardiner is well established as the acerbic nasty judge on Dancing on Ice, and seems quite content to play up to his pantomime villain image within the format of the show. This was demonstrated by the fact that every comment he makes is almost invariably booed by the audience, as was the case regarding the comments he made about Sharron Davies on this occasion.

Ofcom also considered that Jason Gardiner's remarks were fleeting and seemed to be a passing reference to a combination of the colour of Sharron Davies' costume and a comment on what Jason Gardiner perceived to be the poor standard of her performance.

In addition, we considered that the comment: was not dwelt upon; could be considered to be more of a medical term rather than a more commonly-used offensive word; was used in the context of a value judgement about a performance, rather than against a particular person, by a judge in a talent competition, whose role is to provide critical judgements on different performances; and would have been likely to have been recognised as part of the cut and thrust of this contest, by the majority of the audience, familiar with this programme format.

Ofcom considered that the content, though potentially offensive to some in the audience, was justified by the context. It therefore was not in breach of Rule 2.3.

We noted that a number of complainants expressed concern that the term faecal matter was unsuitable to be heard by children who might have been watching. While Dancing on Ice is intended for a family audience, it is not a programme that is primarily aimed at children. Ofcom considered that most children would be unfamiliar with this term. In any event, we consider that, while some may consider it to be offensive, the word is an accepted medical term rather than a commonly-used form of offensive language. Therefore, Ofcom considered that the content in this case was appropriately scheduled, and was not in breach of Rule 1.3.

 

24th February   

Update: Banging On...

Ofcom get well wound up by Bang Babes
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Babe ChannelBang Babes is an adult sex chat service, owned and operated by Bang Channels Limited, and available freely without mandatory restricted access on the channels Tease Me and Tease Me 3 (Sky channel numbers 912 and 959). Both channels are situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( EPG ). These channels broadcast programmes after the 21:00 watershed based on interactive 'adult' sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact onscreen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to contact the PRS numbers.

Ofcom have published multiple whinges about these programmes:

Bang Babes, Tease Me 3, 30/31 October 2009, 23:20 to 00:20

The complainant said the content included in the programme was too sexually explicit to be available without mandatory restricted access.

Bang Babes, Tease Me 3, 7 November 2009, 21:45 to 22:30

The complainant here was concerned that the presenter was wearing inadequate underwear which resulted in images of her anus being shown.

Bang Babes, Tease Me, 13/14 November 2009, 23:45 to 00:30

The complainant was concerned that the broadcast included prolonged graphic and intrusive images of vaginal and anal detail, and of simulated masturbation.

Promotion of the www.bangbabes.tv website address for all broadcasts

In addition, after viewing the content complained of Ofcom noted that during all three broadcasts the website www.bangbabes.tv was promoted. When accessed by Ofcom this website featured images of a strong sexual nature equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material ( R18-rated equivalent material ) which could be readily viewed without appropriate protections. Although this R18-rated equivalent material was not broadcast on-air, Ofcom was concerned that it appeared on a website being promoted on Ofcom licensed services freely available without mandatory restricted access from 21:00.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.241 ('adult-sex' material is restricted to overnight services with mandatory restricted access)
  • Rule 2.1 (generally accepted standards)
  • Rule 2.3 (material which may cause offence must be justified by context) of the Code.

And predictably Ofcom found that all of these rules had been Breached

Ofcom also had a go at The Pad, the daytime equivalent to Bang Babes

The Pad Tease Me, 6 November 2009, 12:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 15:00

The Pad is a televised daytime interactive chat programme broadcast without mandatory restricted access. It is broadcast on the Tease Me channel, which is located in the adult section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide ( EPG ) on channel number 912. Tease Me is owned and operated by Bang Channels Limited ( Bang Channels or the Licensee ). Viewers are invited to contact onscreen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The presenters generally dress and behave in a provocative and/or flirtatious manner.

The complainant suggested that the material broadcast was too strong for transmission at these times.

Ofcom viewed the material and noted that both broadcasts featured the same presenter. On both occasions she was wearing skimpy black PVC knickers and a skimpy boob tube top with Playmate written on it. During both broadcasts she was shown lying on her back with her legs wide open for prolonged periods of time. While doing so she repeatedly gyrated and thrust her pelvis as though miming intercourse. While in this position the presenter also stroked her stomach and pulled down the side of her knickers in a sexually provocative manner. The presenter also lay on her front during the programmes for prolonged periods of time. While in this position she pulled down her knickers to reveal the top of her bottom, and also raised her bottom in the air and repeatedly gyrated her pelvis in a sexual manner.

Ofcom found this programme to be in breach of

  • Rule 1.3 (children must be protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling).

Ofcom found more examples

TMTV Tease Me TV (Freeview), 3 November 2009, 05:00

Also found in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3

Ofcom also wanted to have a whinge about:

Bang Babes Tease Me TV (Freeview), 23 November 2009, 3:00

Early Bird Tease Me TV (Freeview), 23 November 2009, 7:30

But recordings were not available so Ofcom had a whinge about that instead.

And Ofcom re-affirmed their intention to punish Bang Media for these transfressions:

Ofcom explained in Broadcast Bulletin 151 that as a result of these breaches, it was notifying the licensee that it was considering the imposition of statutory sanctions.  In the current Broadcast Bulletin (152), Ofcom has published further breaches of the Code as regards services for which Bang Channels holds the licences, Tease Me and Tease Me 3.

As is made clear in Broadcast Bulletins 151 and 152, these breaches are serious and/or repeated and are therefore being considered by Ofcom for statutory sanction.

Bang Media and Bang Channels are controlled by the same person and all editorial compliance decisions regarding both Bang Media and Bang Channels are taken by one compliance team, For these reasons Ofcom will consider for sanction together all serious and/or repeated Code or licence breaches for which Bang Media and Bang Channels are responsible.

 

22nd February   

Ofcom Bare their Fangs...

Man with talent for eating snakes alive does not impress the TV censor.
Link Here

Snake eater on ARY Dum Hai Tou Entertain Kar
ARY Digital, 3 December 2009, 11:00

ARY Digital is a general entertainment channel serving a UK Pakistani audience, and is broadcast on cable and satellite platforms.

Dum Hai Tou Entertain Kar ( Entertain, if You Dare ) is a Pakistani talent show.

Ofcom received a complaint that in this particular episode a contestant came on stage with a live snake and proceeded to bite the live snake's head off, and then skin the snake with his hands and teeth while continuing to eat it. The complainant considered this content was inappropriate for broadcast.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.3 (children must be protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling)
  • Rule 2.3 (offensive material must be justified by the context).

Ofcom Decision:   Breach of 1.3 and 2.3

In this case, a talent show contestant was shown bringing a live snake on stage. After holding the live snake in his teeth, the contestant was then shown biting the snake's head off. The programme then continued to show the contestant biting into the snake and gradually ripping off and eating the skin and flesh of the animal to leave just its skeleton.

Ofcom noted that this whole sequence lasted several minutes and, at several times, the shocked reactions of both the studio audience and two judges were shown on screen. Ofcom considered that this explicit and graphic killing, and then eating, of a snake by the talent show contestant was clearly unsuitable for children and had the potential to cause offence to viewers in general.

This is because the snake was clearly alive before its head was bitten off and no measures appeared to have been taken before the killing to lessen any pain; the contestant proceeded to skin and then devour the snake's flesh in front of the audience; the whole sequence lasted several minutes, including a number of close ups; and the sequence was designed purely for entertainment.

In Ofcom's view this material was not appropriately scheduled so as to provide the necessary protection to child viewers. The programme was broadcast at a time when there was a material chance that children, including some of the very youngest children, may have been in the audience. As a consequence, Ofcom considered that this was a breach of Rule 1.3.

Concerning Rule 2.3, for the reasons set out above this material had the potential to offend. The issue was therefore whether it was justified by the context.

This offensive content was not justified by the context which primary purpose is a programme to entertain the audience and was therefore in breach of Rule 2.3.

Ofcom considered that ARYs' compliance procedures have been shown to be seriously inadequate by this case. In particular, we are concerned that the broadcaster had not viewed this particular episode at all prior to broadcast. Instead on its own admission it based its compliance decisions for this programme, and the whole series from which it came, on viewing only one episode in this series.

In addition, we are concerned that despite attempts to communicate with its transmission department following the 2 December broadcast, ARY was not able to prevent the programme, including the Snake Contestant content, being repeated on 3 December 2009.

Breach of 1.3 and 2.3

 

13th February   

Update: Ofcom Party Poopers...

Ofcom continues its ongoing whinge about the babe channels
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Party PeopleParty People
Get Lucky TV, 29 November 2009, 17:25

Party People is an interactive chat programme where viewers can contact the onscreen presenters via a premium rate telephone or text number ('PRS'). Generally, the female presenters dress and behave in a provocative and/or flirtatious manner.

Party People is broadcast in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ('EPG') and is freely available without mandatory restricted access.

Ofcom received a complaint from a viewer who was concerned that the behaviour and attire of one of the presenters was unsuitable for the time of broadcast in the late afternoon. Ofcom noted the presenter in question wore a pair of knickers and a halter-neck bikini top and lay variously on her front and side, facing the camera. During the broadcast, she pulled the side of her knickers down towards her upper thighs, stroked her body and appeared to mime sexual activity.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 (children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them).

Ofcom Decision: Breaches of Rule 1.3

Rule 1.3 makes clear that children should be protected from material which is unsuitable for them by appropriate scheduling. The behaviour of presenters for daytime chat services must not appear to mimic or simulate sexual acts before the watershed.

In this case the presenter was dressed in knickers and a halter-neck bikini top and was shown lying on her front, facing towards the camera. The presenter occasionally lay on her side and tucked her thumb under her knickers to pull them down to the top of her thigh. The broadcast contained numerous close-up, panning shots of her body, including of her cleavage and groin. The presenter also: thrust her hips and pelvis as though miming sexual activity; rubbed her hand over her thighs and bottom; arched her back to emphasise her breasts, and opened her legs while lying on her side.

In Ofcom's view the actions of, and positions adopted by, the presenter were intended to be sexually provocative in nature. The material was therefore not editorially justified, and Ofcom considered clearly unsuitable for children.

Ofcom has made clear that the location of a channel in the adult section of the Sky EPG, available freely without mandatory restricted access, does not in itself provide adequate protection to under-eighteens form inappropriate material. Therefore the material was in breach of Rule 1.3.

 

12th February   

Update: Elite by Day, Elite by Night...

Ofcom continues its ongoing whinge about the babe channels
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Elite TV advertElite Days 4-25 November 2009, 09:00 - 19:45
Elite Nights 2 October 2009, 22:00

The channels Elite TV and Elite Days are owned and operated by Prime Time TV Limited. The Channels broadcast interactive chat programmes that are freely available and without mandatory restricted access. They are located in the adult section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide ( EPG ). Elite is situated on Channel 911 of the EPG and Elite TV at Channel 965 of the EPG. Viewers can contact the onscreen female presenters via a premium rate telephone or text number ( PRS ). Generally the female presenters dress and behave in a provocative and/or flirtatious manner.

Ofcom received complaints about several programmes on the Channels.

On viewing the daytime material Ofcom noted that the presenter, seated on a sofa and dressed in a low cut gold lamé swimsuit and black high heeled shoes, had her legs wide apart while repeatedly stretching one leg above her head allowing viewers a more open shot of her crotch area. In addition, there were sequences in which the camera, in close-up, focused on the presenter's crotch while the presenter slowly gyrated her pelvis.

In another broadcast the same presenter was seen in two sequences. Firstly she was dressed in black PVC underwear and subsequently she wore a blue swimsuit with knee length stiletto heeled boots. In both sequences she was positioned on a sofa with her legs apart. In the second sequence she was seen thrusting her buttocks for prolonged periods.

Re Post 21:00 watershed Elite Nights, Ofcom received a complaint that during this programme footage showed the presenter's underwear being pulled aside revealing exposure of genitals.

Ofcom viewed the material and noted that the presenter, wearing a gold lamé swimsuit on several occasions pulled her underwear aside and exposed her genital area. In addition Ofcom noted prolonged close up shots of the presenter with legs wide apart and sequences where she placed her hands inside her underwear.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.3 Children must...be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them
  • Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.

Ofcom Decision: Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 2.3

Daytime Programming:

Ofcom's concerns centred on sequences such as the presenter seen sitting on a sofa with her legs apart in a sexually suggestive pose. The manner in which she raised one leg above her head, making the crotch area more visible was particularly suggestive. In addition Ofcom was concerned with the way in which the camera panned slowly over her body and lingered for lengthy periods on her crotch. While this was happening, the presenter gyrated her hips in a way which in Ofcom's opinion was sexually provocative and inappropriate for this time of day.

Rule 1.3 makes clear that children should be protected from material which is unsuitable for them by appropriate scheduling. The behaviour of presenters for daytime chat services must not at any time appear to mimic or simulate sexual acts before the watershed. In all of these cases the female presenters dressed in skimpy underwear, adopted various sexual positions and made the sexually suggestive gestures described above. This was not editorially justified.

In Ofcom's view the repeated actions and sexual positions of the presenter were intended to be sexually provocative in nature. In light of this behaviour, together with its lack of editorial justification, this material was clearly unsuitable for children and breached Rule 1.3.

Post 21:00 watershed:

Ofcom then considered the programme broadcast after the 21:00 watershed in light of Rule 2.3. The type of behaviour and images that concerned Ofcom included numerous instances of extreme close ups of the presenter's bottom as well as the genital areas with outer labial area visible. The strength of these images was increased by the presenter's behaviour in lifting up the thin piece of her swimsuit which covered her anus. In addition the presenter repeatedly bunched up the material at the front crotch area of her swimsuit so that her genital area was partly visible. Also, Ofcom had further concerns about some of the actions of the presenter. These included prolonged close up shots of the presenter with legs wide open and sequences involving the presenter placing her hands inside her swimsuit and apparently touching her genitals.

In Ofcom's view, the strongly suggestive nature of this material together with the overtly sexual behaviour of the presenter was such that it went beyond generally accepted standards. Given the strength of the content, Ofcom also notes the possibility of viewers at this time coming across this material unawares. Ofcom therefore concluded that this offensive content was not justified by the context and so went beyond what could be considered generally accepted standards. It was therefore in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

Ofcom has had a meeting with this Licensee to explain the concerns it has over the broadcaster's compliance. Prime Time TV Limited should note that further breaches may result in Ofcom taking further regulatory action.

 

11th February   

Update: Banged to Rights...

Ofcom considers sanctions against Bang Babes late night programming
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Babe ChannelBang Babes Tease Me,
20-23 June 2009, 00:00 to 02:45 approximately

Bang Babes is an adult sex chat service, owned and operated by Bang Channels Limited, and available freely without mandatory restricted access on the channel Tease Me (Sky channel number 912).

It is situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( EPG ). The channel broadcasts programmes after the 21:00 watershed based on interactive adult sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact on-screen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to call the PRS telephone line.

Ofcom noted that the programme contained a range of strong sexual material including some graphic images of a sexual nature.

20th June between 01:15 and 02:10 the broadcast featured three female presenters. Two of the presenters were wearing only thongs and the other presenter was wearing a thong and a bra, however her breasts were exposed as she pulled her bra down below her breasts. At various times during this broadcast the three presenters were shown carrying out or participating in a number of sexual acts. These included: close up shots of three presenters licking each other's breasts; touching and licking each other's genital and anal areas; and one presenter was shown simulating in a realistic way the insertion of her fingers into a co-presenter's anus. Anal and genital detail of the various presenters was also featured on a number of occasions.

Later two other presenters were shown carrying out or participating in a number of sexual acts. These included: one presenter bunching her thong around her genitals while the other licked around her genital area; simulating oral sex on each other; sucking and licking each other's breasts; spitting on their own and each other's breasts; and spitting near each other's genital and anal areas. Anal and genital detail of the various presenters was also featured on a number of occasions.

Later there were four presenters in shot. One of the new presenters was wearing a skimpy black thong and a black vest top, with her breasts exposed. The other was wearing a black thong and bra with her breasts exposed also. The four presenters split into pairs and were shown simulating masturbation and oral sex on each other in a realistic way. This was followed by four presenters simultaneously opening their legs to camera and simulating masturbation (touching their genital area). One presenter then appeared to lick the genital area of all the other presenters in turn.

Similar material was broadcast in subsequent nights programming

Ofcom considered Rules:

  • 1.24 'adult-sex' material is restricted to overnight services with mandatory restricted access
  • 2.1 generally accepted standards
  • 2.3 material which may cause offence must be justified by context.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 1.24, 2.1 and 2.3

Rule 1.24 of the Code requires adult-sex material to be broadcast only between 22:00 and 05:30, and then only if mandatory restricted access is in place.

Through a series of published findings, and published decisions of the Content Sanctions Committee, Ofcom has made clear what constitutes adult-sex material

In considering the contents of each of these programmes Ofcom asked itself two questions:

  • was the content of the programme adult-sex material
  • did the broadcaster take appropriate steps to ensure that it was provided with sufficient contextual justification so as to ensure that it fell within generally accepted standards.

In relation to Rule 1.24, Ofcom examined the content of this broadcast and considered that it was of a very strong sexual nature and on some occasions explicit images of genital and anal detail. For example, the broadcast showed a presenter simulating in a realistic way the insertion of her fingers into a co-presenter's anus; images of presenters licking each other's genital areas; presenters spitting between and on each other's breasts and spitting on or near each other's genital and anal areas. Ofcom took account of the fact that the sequences were several minutes each in duration, and in some cases, were repeated.

In Ofcom's view, the primary purpose of broadcasting this material was clearly sexual arousal. Having assessed the programme's content and purpose, Ofcom considered that the material broadcast constituted adult-sex material. Its broadcast, without mandatory restricted access, was therefore in breach of Rule 1.24.

Ofcom is concerned that the Licensee considers material, such as genital detail and simulated masturbation, to be acceptable to broadcast after 22:00. Ofcom is also particularly concerned that the Licensee appears to have formed this view based on Ofcom's published decision regarding Bang Babes, Tease Me 2, 17 March 2008; 21:0022:00 (Broadcast Bulletin Issue number 120), which states that such content in that particular broadcast was not suitable before 22:00.

In Ofcom's opinion by stating content is not suitable before a particular time does not therefore suggest it is automatically acceptable to broadcast later. Ofcom considers broadcast content on a case by case basis as contextual factors may differ, particularly regarding the nature of the content.

Ofcom then went on to consider whether the broadcast was also in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code. In light of Ofcom's view that this material constituted adult sex material and therefore unsuitable for broadcast without mandatory restricted access, the broadcast was clearly capable of causing considerable offence. Ofcom therefore examined the extent to which there were any particular editorial or contextual factors that might have limited the potential for offence.

Ofcom noted that the programme was broadcast along time after the watershed and that viewers tend to expect stronger sexual material to be shown later at night. Ofcom also took account of the fact that the channel was positioned in the adult section of the Sky EPG and that viewers tend to expect the broadcast of stronger sexual material on channels in this section of the EPG than would be expected to be included on other channels. However, in this case, given the prolonged and frequent scenes of a very strong sexual nature and the inclusion of explicit images of genital and anal details (provided for the purpose of sexual arousal) the time of broadcast and location of the channel were not sufficient to justify the broadcast of the material shown was so strongly sexual that it would have exceeded the likely expectation of the vast majority of the audience.

Ofcom concluded that this content was clearly not justified by the context and was in breach of generally accepted standards. This broadcast was also therefore in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.

Ofcom has notified the Licensee that it is considering these contraventions of the Code for statutory sanction in light of their seriousness and/or repeated nature.

 

8th February   

Updated: Ofcom Abuse...

Sri Lanka used Ofcom to curb Channel 4 News reports
Link Here

Sri LankaThe scandal of Britain's libel laws and their facility for libel tourism is well known. So too is our cavalier attitude to freedom of speech. But the idea that a country with one of the worst records for press freedom and human rights could use UK broadcast regulations to challenge legitimate reporting of allegations of cold-blooded killings in a brutal civil war surely takes the UK to a new place.

Last year we broadcast a video showing nine bound and naked men, two of whom were shot, on camera, by soldiers who appeared to be wearing Sri Lankan army uniform. On the night in question I made it clear that while we couldn't authenticate this video, sent to us by a group called Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, it raised matters of such importance that further investigation was warranted. The Sri Lankan high commission immediately denied the atrocities that the video appeared to show.

Two weeks later, at a news conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka said independent analysis had declared the video a fake . It mounted a high-profile global campaign to discredit the report, protesting outside Channel 4's London headquarters. The Sri Lankan government opened up a second front in the UK, filing a series of complaints with Ofcom one for accuracy and impartiality, one for fairness and privacy. What had begun as a media campaign to try to destroy the credibility of our news report had become a private battle using the UK's broadcast regulator. It was a battle in which they were initially allowed to hide anonymously behind the confidential nature of the procedures.

Battle was spared by the findings of a UN committee which concluded that the tape did appear authentic, and dismissed Sri Lanka's analysis. Strangely, on the eve of the UN report's publication the government of Sri Lanka dropped its Ofcom complaints.

...Read full article

Comment: Ofcom not exploited

8th February 2010. See article from guardian.co.uk by Chris Banatvala, Director of standards, Ofcom

Ofcom logoJon Snow is absolutely right when he says that Ofcom's complaints function must not be used by governments to curb investigative reporting [to] hide from public scrutiny . But, contrary to the suggestion contained in your headline, Ofcom did not allow the Sri Lankan government to exploit our procedures, when it complained about Channel 4 News broadcasting footage of the apparent atrocities committed against the Tamils.

Ofcom has an excellent track record in defending freedom of speech for legitimate investigative journalism (for example, our decision in Channel 4's Undercover Mosque ).

In this Sri Lankan case, Ofcom did not take forward the Sri Lankan government's fairness complaint and rejected its impartiality and accuracy complaint.

Ofcom has a statutory duty to ensure that broadcasters comply with the broadcasting code, irrespective of the identity of any complainant. As the Channel 4 News presenter points out only parliament can change that.

 

30th January   

Update: BEREC...

European-wide telecoms regulator starts up
Link Here  full story: BEREC...European wide telecoms regulator

EU flagOfcom has welcomed the formation of a new organisation to shape, coordinate and influence European telecoms regulation.

Called the Body of European Regulations in Electronic Communications (BEREC), it is made up of 27 regulators from the European Union member states. It meets for the first time today in Brussels to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairmen, who will serve a 12 month term. BEREC replaces the European Regulators' Group, with beefed-up powers formalised under European legislation, but remains very clearly a body of independent national regulators.

The formation of BEREC is a major step forward and will improve the consistency and quality of regulation across the EU. BEREC establishes authority in the group of national regulators, working together to the common goal of serving the interests of consumers and the communications sector as a whole, said Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive.

BEREC also has an important responsibility to act as an authoritative and independent adviser to the Commission and the European Parliament on regulatory matters.

See article from ec.europa.eu

The first meetings of the Board of Regulators of BEREC and the Management Committee of the Office were held in Brussels on 28 January 2010. The 27 heads of the NRAs laid down the cornerstone for the institutional structure that will deliver the results that the legislators intended. They also discussed ways to ensure that the both BEREC and the Office will be operational as soon as possible to respond to the needs of the single market.

Although, the increased participation of BEREC in the new Article 7 procedure and the possibility to give opinions on cross-border disputes will need to wait until May 2011, the date for the transposition of the new framework to be completed, BEREC is able to carry out many tasks without the need to wait so long. BEREC is already able to:

  • disseminate best practice, assist NRAs, advise the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, and assist the institutions and the NRAs in their relations with third parties
  • deliver opinions on draft recommendations and/or guidelines on the form, content and level of detail to be given in notifications, in accordance with Article 7b of Directive 2002/21/EC (Framework Directive)
  • be consulted on draft recommendations on relevant product and service markets, in accordance with Article 15 of the Framework Directive
  • deliver opinions on draft decisions on the identification of transnational markets, in accordance with Article 15 of the Framework Directive
  • be consulted on draft measures relating to effective access to the emergency call number 112
  • be consulted on draft measures relating to the effective implementation of the 116 numbering range
  • deliver opinions on draft decisions and recommendations on harmonisation, in accordance with Article 19 of the Framework Directive
  • deliver opinions aiming to ensure the development of common rules and requirements for providers of cross-border business services
  • provide assistance to NRAs on issues relating to fraud or the misuse of numbering resources within the Community in particular for cross-border services
  • monitor and report on the electronic communications sector
  • issue reports and provide advice and deliver opinions to the European Parliament and the Council, on any matter regarding electronic communications within its competence.

 

30th January   

Update: Nazis at Ofcom...

Jon Gaunt wins appeal against Ofcom over Nazi accusation
Link Here  full story: Jon Gaunt and Talksport Nazis...Talksport sack radio presenter over Nazi jibe

Jon GauntShock jock Jon Gaunt, who was sacked after calling a councillor a Nazi live on air, has won permission to bring a High Court challenge against the media watchdog, Ofcom.

Gaunt - known as Gaunty - lost his job with Talksport in November 2008 following the exchange, which involved a discussion about Redbridge Council's decision to ban smokers from becoming foster parents.

The presenter, who was in care as a child, was sacked after calling councillor Michael Stark a Nazi and an ignorant pig live on air, and prompted several complaints from listeners.

When Ofcom upheld the complaints under the broadcasting code of practice, Gaunt launched an appeal, claiming his fundamental right to free speech and to criticise a professional politician had been infringed.

At a hearing at the High Court, the presenter was granted permission to bring an appeal against Ofcom. He said: The right of every British citizen to speak his or her mind, free of the fear of sanction from faceless government-appointed bureaucrats is a right that we must all protect and preserve.

Ofcom overstepped its remit in my case, and infringed the free speech which I, and every other British citizen, has enjoyed since the time of Magna Carta.

Gaunt is being supported by the civil rights group Liberty, whose director, Shami Chakrabarti, he once labelled Britain's most dangerous woman.

 

13th January   

Update: Widespread Concerns...

Ofcom whinges at Top Shelf TV
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Top Shelf TVTop Shelf TV , 17 September 2009, 16:45

Top Shelf TV is owned and operated by Playboy TV UK/Benelux Limited. Top Shelf TV is a televised interactive chat channel available freely without mandatory restricted access. The channel is situated in the adult section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide ( Sky EPG ) on Channel 911. Viewers can call a premium rate telephone number and talk to onscreen female presenters. The presenters generally dress and behave in a provocative and/or flirtatious manner.

On 17 September 2009 routine Ofcom monitoring raised concerns about some material broadcast on Top Shelf TV before the watershed at 16:45. A woman, dressed in skimpy black underwear, stockings, suspenders and stilettos repeatedly lay on her back facing the camera with her legs spread wide apart for prolonged periods of time. While doing so she repeatedly thrust her groin area in close-up to camera as though miming intercourse, and stroked and caressed her body in a sexually provocative manner. This material was presented with background music.

Given the time of broadcast in the late afternoon and that it was available without any access restrictions,

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 (children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them).

Ofcom Decision: In breach

The behaviour of presenters for daytime chat services must not at any time appear to mimic or simulate sexual acts before the watershed. In this case the female presenter dressed in skimpy underwear adopted various sexual positions including lying on her back with her legs wide open for prolonged periods of time and thrusting her groin repeatedly in close up to camera as though miming sexual intercourse, while stroking her thighs and buttocks. In Ofcom's opinion the sexual imagery shown to viewers had no editorial context other than sexual stimulation. It was therefore not editorially justified. In Ofcom's view the repeated actions and sexual positions of the presenter were intended to be sexually provocative in nature. In light of this behaviour, together with its lack of editorial justification, in Ofcom's view (and admitted by Playboy) this material was clearly unsuitable for children.

Given the sexual nature of the content, the location of the channel in the adult section of the EPG and its scheduling at 16:45 were not sufficient to provide adequate protection to prevent children from viewing this material. Ofcom has repeatedly made clear that the location of a channel in the adult section of the Sky EPG, available freely without mandatory restricted access, does not in itself provide adequate protection to under-eighteens from inappropriate material. Therefore the material breached Rule 1.3

 

12th January   

Update: Babe Botherers...

Ofcom whinges at the Babes of Live 960
Link Here  full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Live 960 logoLive 960 , 11 September 2009, 22:00

Live 960 is owned and operated by Hoppr Entertainment Limited ( Hoppr Entertainment ). Live 960 is a daytime chat and adult sex chat channel service available freely without mandatory restricted access. The channel is situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( EPG ). The channel broadcasts programmes after the 21:00 watershed based on interactive adult sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact onscreen female presenters via premium rate telephony services ( PRS ). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to call the PRS telephone line.

A viewer complained about the strong adult content shown during this broadcast. This showed two presenters carrying out a number of sexual acts on each other. At various points in the broadcast the presenters were wearing skimpy thongs and tops that were open to reveal their breasts, spitting on each other's knickers and licking each other's breasts, and were shown touching and apparently licking each other's genital areas. The broadcast included prolonged and close up shots between the presenters' legs while simulating masturbation. It also included an image of one of the presenters moving her thong to one side to briefly reveal her genitals, while the other simulated the performance of oral sex on her.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • 1.24 (-1-) ('adult-sex' material)
  • 2.1 (generally accepted standards)
  • 2.3 (material that may cause offence must be justified by context).

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 1.24, 2.1 and 2.3

Rule 1.24 requires adult-sex material to be broadcast only between 22:00 and 05:30, and then only if mandatory restricted access is in place.

Ofcom noted that the broadcast material complained of showed the two presenters apparently performing oral sex and masturbation on each other (head between legs, licking and touching other presenters' genital areas). In Ofcom's opinion, a viewer could reasonably have perceived some of these sexual acts as real. The presenters were also shown spitting on and licking each other's knickers and one presenter very briefly showed her genitals. Ofcom considered that these images broadcast during the programme were clearly of a strong sexual nature and that the primary purpose of this material was sexual arousal or stimulation.

In Ofcom's view this content had insufficient editorial or contextual justification to allow its exceptional transmission without mandatory restricted access on free-to-air television. This content was, in Ofcom's view, adult-sex material and its broadcast was in breach of Rule 1.24, which requires such material to be broadcast only after 22:00 with mandatory restricted access. The broadcasts were therefore in breach of Rule 1.24 of the Code.

Ofcom considered that factors such as its location in the adult section of the EPG and the content being broadcast after 21:00 did not justify the broadcast of this material in this instance. Ofcom also notes the possibility of viewers (and in particular children) at this time coming across this material unawares. Ofcom therefore concluded that this content was not justified by the context and was therefore in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.

Ofcom notes the compliance measures taken by the broadcaster in response to the transmission of the material. However, given the strength of the content broadcast, Ofcom considered this contravention to be a serious breach of the Code. Ofcom notes that Hoppr Entertainment has been operating a licence for Live 960 since 19 August 2009 and since that time it has been found in breach of its licence conditions and of the Code on separate occasions. Given this, Ofcom is now requiring the licensee to attend a meeting at Ofcom to discuss its compliance procedures. Ofcom also puts Hoppr Entertainment on notice that it must take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure its channels comply with the Code in the future. Ofcom will not expect further breaches of this nature to occur again.

Ofcom logo

Ofcom

Office of Communications

A regulator with multiple roles. Roles of Interest to Melon Farmers are:

  • TV censors for nearly all radio/TV/cable/satellite except for the BBC

  • Internet censors for Video on Demand. This task has been delegated to ATVOD  but Ofcom retain teh absiolute authority

  • Internet censors for copyright/file sharing issues

  • Advert Censors for the limited role of TV channels which exist mainly to advertise premium rate telephone services (such as babe channels)

Websites:
www.ofcom.org.uk

Melon Farmers Pages:
Ofcom Watch
File sharing at Ofcom