Can I draw your attention to this part in particular:
Two-step safeguard for receiving countries (Article 3 (2) – (5))
- if a country objects to the content in a foreign television broadcast which is wholly or mostly directed to it, it can use a consultation procedure (cooperation procedure) to address the country of origin. The latter shall then issue a non-binding
request for the broadcaster to comply with the stricter rules of the targeted country.
- if the broadcaster circumvents these national rules, the objecting country can also - with the Commission's prior approval – take binding measures (circumvention procedure).
So folks, it would seem Ms Reding's work is done. Ofcom's quite illegal and rights abusing Code will now apply to any Euro-based broadcaster with a majority of UK viewers/subscribers. Ofcom's jurisdiction now reaches the parts even Parliament, nay, even
the High Court cannot reach.
Oh, and don't forget, the AVMS applies to web-based TV-style On Demand services too, which likely means Ofcom will be disconnecting the UK from any website that feeds R18-type material into UK homes.
Whatever its reach, we have a situation where a completely unelected body with powers no self-serving dictatorship would be complete without, enforcing a potentially unlawful code right across Europe.
Moreover, if you have chosen to subscribe to a foreign adult service specifically BECAUSE you cannot view what you want under Ofcom's rules, Ofcom will now be able to cut you off or, indeed, force that channel only to supply what Ofcom alone have
dictated can be viewed in the UK.
I believe it is NOW of paramount importance to force a Judicial Review of Ofcom's Code.
Babeworld TV, 28 May 2009, 23:30
Promotion of the www.babeworld.tv website address
Babeworld TV is a chat and adult-sex chat channel available without mandatory access restrictions in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( Sky EPG ). It broadcasts programming based on interactive daytime and adult-sex chat
services: viewers are invited to contact on-screen presenters via premium rate services ( PRS ). After the 21:00 watershed in particular, the presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way.
Ofcom received a complaint that at around 23:30 on 28 May 2009 a female presenter, wearing only skimpy underwear including a G-string, showed clear and close-up images of anal and vaginal detail to camera.
Ofcom viewed a recording of the programme and noted that the presenter lay on her back with her legs up in the air and apart talking on the telephone. On five occasions she pulled aside the Gstring she was wearing to reveal briefly her vagina and anus.
This occurred during a time period of just under three minutes.
In addition, whilst monitoring the material as described above, Ofcom noted that the broadcaster had included in its programmes on-screen promotional references to its website www.babeworld.tv. When accessed by Ofcom, this website featured sexually
explicit R18 equivalent material which could be readily viewed without registration to the website. Although this pornographic material was not broadcast on-air, Ofcom was concerned that it appeared on a website being promoted on an Ofcom licensed
service (Babeworld TV) from 21.00.
Ofcom considered rules:
2.1 (generally accepted standards)
2.3 (offensive material must be justified by context) of the Code.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3
During the programme investigated of 28 May 2009, the female presenter was shown to move her left hand down to her crotch and then pull the string of her G-string to one side to show viewers clear, unambiguous and close-up shots of her vagina and anus.
She repeated this action five times in just under three minutes.
In Ofcom's view it is a breach of generally accepted standards and offensive to broadcast such images on a service without mandatory access restrictions unless they are justified by the context.
According to Rule 2.3, context is judged by a variety of factors such as the editorial context of the service, the time of broadcast and the effect on viewers of coming across the material unawares.
Ofcom has previously and repeatedly published clear guidance regarding content broadcast by adult-sex chat services in the adult section of the Sky EPG, where the material is free-to-view and broadcast without mandatory access restrictions. This
guidance stated that material of a sexual nature broadcast after the 21:00 watershed must be appropriately limited and justified by the context to ensure compliance with generally accepted standards. It has also repeatedly made it clear that the location
of a channel in the adult section of the Sky EPG does not in itself provide sufficient protection from the potential to view offensive material or sufficient programme context for its broadcast.
As regards context, Ofcom noted that the programme was broadcast well after the 21:00 watershed. It judged however that the repeated and seemingly deliberate actions by the presenter to show her vagina and anus had either no, or a completely
insufficient, justification in the context. Ofcom considered that the actions of the presenter were clearly not a one-off accident because she needed to act with deliberation to locate the string with her fingers and then move it to the side. Also
the action was repeated five times in total. Ofcom questions the speed with which the onsite compliance officer reacted to the presenter's behaviour.
In Ofcom's view, even though viewers of adult-sex channels are used to a great extent to the type of material they show, the degree of offence capable of being caused by the broadcast of the very explicit images shown in this case was likely to be
considerable. In Ofcom's view, this material would have exceeded the likely expectation of the audience, especially for viewers who may have come across it unawares.
For all these reasons, this content was offensive and not justified by context, and so breached generally accepted standards. It was therefore in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.
Ofcom asked Babeworld twice in July 2009 to comment on why it believed it was acceptable to make promotional references to the www.babeworld.tv website on its service when the site contained unprotected R18 equivalent material. The broadcaster finally
responded on 13 August 2009, when it confirmed that R18 equivalent material had been removed but queried Ofcom's power to regulate promotional references made on air to websites.
The content of websites is not broadcast material, and therefore not subject to the requirements of the Code. However, any promotional references to websites made on air are broadcast content.
The promotional references to the www.babeworld.tv website on air breached generally accepted standards. They were offensive because of the unprotected and highly explicit sexual material they led to and were not in Ofcom's opinion justified by the
context, such as only being broadcast after 21:00 on a service in the adult section of the Sky EPG. They were therefore in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.
In view of the serious and repeated nature of these contraventions of the Code, Ofcom reviewed carefully whether they should be considered for referral to the Content Sanctions Committee. On balance Ofcom decided not to do so on this occasion. However,
Ofcom will seriously consider further regulatory action should Babeworld breach the Code in the future.
Changes to the Broadcasting Code rules for promotion of Premium Rate Services (PRS)
Revised rules to strengthen audience protection in the use of premium rate telephone services in TV and radio programmes have been announced.
The changes to Ofcom's Broadcasting Code, which will come into effect early next year, mean that premium rate services (PRS) may only be included in editorial TV and radio programmes, such as phone-in competitions and votes, where they are related to the
main editorial purpose of the show. This move will not affect shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Big Brother or competitions within shows.
Where broadcasters wish to promote PRS services more extensively than permitted under the revised Broadcasting Code rules, then this should be considered as falling within the category of advertising and will be regulated under the Advertising Code. The
changes follow consultation in 2007 and 2008, and will reinforce the strict distinction between editorial content and advertising in programming.
Channels that are likely to be affected by this are Participation TV (PTV) channels that are based on promotion of PRS. These include specialist quiz, adult chat and psychic channels.
The Advertising Code currently limits advertising of PRS of a sexual nature to encrypted channels. It also restricts the promotion of PRS featuring live personal psychic services. These services are featured on Adult Chat PTV and Psychic PTV.
New research has found that promotion of these particular services on TV is generally acceptable to viewers in their current form, where they are appropriately scheduled, clearly labelled and identifiable in an appropriate section of an electronic
programme guide ( EPG ), as this minimises the risk of offence from chancing upon them.
Ofcom proposes updating the Advertising Code to allow promotion of these particular services on television to continue, subject to further conditions, and are now consulting on these changes.
Ofcom include 4 options for consideration in the consultation but have identified one of these as their preferred solution:
Option 4 – Allow promotion of PRS of a sexual nature on dedicated teleshopping channels subject to scheduling restrictions and labelling rules, but spot advertising remains only on encrypted channels. Under this option, the risk of offence for viewers
from spot advertising on general channels would continue to be prevented.
Any services featuring promotion of PRS of a sexual nature would be clearly labelled and positioned as “Adult” services including adult content, lessening the risk of unwarranted offence and allowing viewers to choose to exclude such services from
With such labelling information available, a scheduling restriction of 9pm (to limit risk of exposure to minors) would therefore be sufficient. Consumers would continue to have access to services and benefit on the same basis as today.
However, under the labelling rules proposed, broadcasters operating on Freeview would not currently be able to carry promotion for PRS of a sexual nature, since Freeview does not currently offer clear labelling of channels in a separate “Adult” EPG
Elite Days is a daytime chat programme broadcast without access restrictions. It is located in the adult section of the Sky EPG on the service Elite TV. Viewers can call a premium rate telephone number and talk to an onscreen female presenter.
Viewers see the female presenters engaged in conversation but cannot hear what is being said as music is played over the images. At certain intervals the presenters switch on a microphone and speak directly to viewers to encourage them to call into the
premium rate telephony service ( PRS ) number.
Ofcom received a complaint that the programme featured a promotional reference to the website,
www.elitetvonline.com , and that this website included strong sexual material which was available without any protections. Ofcom accessed the website after the complaint was made and noted that it contained some strong sexual images equivalent to
BBFC R18-rated material ( R18-rated equivalent material ). This material could be easily accessed by simply clicking to confirm that the user was over 18.
Although this R18-rated equivalent material was not broadcast on-air, Ofcom was concerned that it appeared on a website being promoted during a daytime interactive chat programme.
Rule 1.2 – In the provision of services, broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen.
Rule 1.3 – Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
Rule 2.1 – Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material.
Rule 2.3 – In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.
The broadcaster informed Ofcom that it has decided to remove any adult material from the unregistered area of its website.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 1.2, 1.3, 2.1 and 2.3
While the content of websites is not in itself broadcast material, and therefore not subject to the requirements of the Code, any on-air promotional references to websites are broadcast content. Such references must therefore comply with the Code. In
this case Elite TV broadcast during the late morning a promotional reference to its website, www.elitetvonline.com, that contained strong sexual images that Ofcom considered to be equivalent to R18-rated material. There were no protections on the website
– for example prior registration before being able to view - and therefore this material could have been accessed easily by under-eighteens.
The promotion on television of this website was therefore of concern to Ofcom. Rules 1.2 and 1.3 require broadcasters to take reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen and ensure that children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from
unsuitable material. Rules 2.1 and 2.3 require broadcasters to comply with generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from offensive material.
It is Ofcom's view that websites that contain unprotected R18-rated equivalent material must not be promoted on an Ofcom licensed service. This is to ensure adequate protection for the under-eighteens and compliance with generally accepted standards.
Appropriate protection on a website would be, for example, the need to purchase access to the R18 material by using a credit card or similar means that allows an age check to be done. In this case no such protections were present on the website and
therefore Rules 1.2 and 1.3, and 2.1 and 2.3 were contravened.
Bang Babes, Tease Me 3, 20 June 2009, 01:45 to 02:30
Bang Babes Tease Me, 23 June 2009, 01:00 to 03:00
Bang Babes is an adult sex chat service, available freely without access restrictions on the channel Tease Me and Tease Me 3. Both channels are situated in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide ( EPG ). The 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.
Tease Me 3, 20 June 2009, 01:45 to 02:30
The complainant said the programme showed the presenter miming vaginal and anal masturbation, and that overall the sexual content was considered to be in excess of the material generally available on a channel without restricted access at 02:00.
Ofcom noted that between 01:45 and 02:30 the broadcast showed a presenter wearing a very short skirt and a black skimpy thong. She was also wearing a black top which she pulled down to expose her breasts. The presenter was shown a number of times lying
on her back with her legs spread apart, heavily thrusting and gyrating in a sexual manner and simulating sex.
At various intervals viewers were shown prolonged and close up shots between her legs, and anal and genital detail was revealed. During the broadcast the presenter bunched up her knickers to reveal outer genital detail and often mimed or simulated
masturbation. The broadcast included images of the presenter spanking herself, licking her breasts and positioning her buttocks to the camera while she touched her anal and genital area.
The presenter also said to viewers: Hello boys and girls, my name's Victoria and you can join me right now for some very naughty fun… that's right boys, you can have me any way you want me tonight boys so come on get right behind me [presenter shown
thrusting buttocks to camera] and really start giving it to me.
Tease Me, 23 June 2009, 01:00 to 03:00
The complainant here was concerned that the presenter spanked her buttocks and close up shots of her vaginal and anal areas were shown while she was only wearing a thong. Overall the complainant believed the sexual content included in this programme was
Ofcom noted that between 01:02 and 01:16, and 02:49 and 02:59, the broadcast showed a female presenter wearing a red thong and no top. At various times the presenter positioned her buttocks to camera to reveal anal and genital detail and placed her
fingers on her anal area. The broadcast showed the presenter spanking herself and pulling her buttocks apart to reveal her anus. The presenter was also shown with her legs apart touching her genital area and simulating masturbation.
On one occasion the presenter licked and dribbled saliva over her naked breasts and rubbed saliva on her nipples. She also poured and massaged oil onto her breasts and buttocks.
Rule 2.1 (generally accepted standards)
Rule 2.3 (material which may cause offence must be justified by context)
Ofcom Decision: In breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3.
It is a requirement of the Code that content which is considered to be adult-sex material must only be broadcast between 22:00 and 05:30 and have a mandatory PIN protection system, or other equivalent, in place (Rule 1.24). In this case, Ofcom
carefully considered whether the content complained of in the two broadcasts was 'adult-sex' material. It concluded that on balance they were not.
This decision was reached taking all the relevant circumstances into account, but was based primarily on the facts that: the presenter in each case was alone, and therefore did not engage in any inappropriate sexual acts (whether real or simulated) with
others; and the shots of the presenters miming or simulating masturbation were either relatively brief or inexplicit, as were the sequences of the presenter spitting and putting oil on, and caressing, her breasts
Ofcom therefore considered these two cases only under 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.
Tease Me 3, 20 June 2009, 01:45 to 02:30
In terms of the content of this broadcast, Ofcom considered it to be sexually explicit. On a number of occasions the presenter positioned herself in front of the camera with her legs wide apart and heavily gyrated in a sexual manner for prolonged periods
of time. Given the thong style underwear the presenter was wearing, and the close up nature of some shots, Ofcom was particularly concerned that there were occasions when her anal and labial areas were shown in intrusive detail. The presenter appeared to
simulate masturbation at various points in the broadcast, as she was seen rubbing her anal and vaginal area, and she also used some sexually explicit language. In Ofcom's view the actions of this particular presenter were highly sexualised and sexually
provocative, and a number of the images were filmed in a prolonged and intrusive manner.
Tease Me, 23 June 2009, 01:00 to 03:00
Ofcom also considered the content of this broadcast to be sexually graphic. The presenter, who was only wearing a skimpy red thong, engaged in a number of sexually explicit acts. At various times the presenter positioned her buttocks to camera so that
her anal and labial areas were shown at close range and in intrusive detail. She also pulled her buttocks apart to reveal her anus and touched her anal area in an intimate way at various times in the broadcast. Ofcom was concerned about the sexual
explicitness of this material irrespective of the time at which it was broadcast. In Ofcom's view the actions of this particular presenter were highly sexualised and sexually provocative, and filmed in an intrusive manner.
Given the strength of the material, Ofcom considered that this content clearly had the potential to cause offence. Therefore its treatment by the broadcaster required justification by the context to provide adequate protection for viewers.
Ofcom took into account all the relevant contextual factors including, for example, the explicit sexual content, the nature of the channel, and the time of broadcast. In Ofcom's opinion given the strength of the material shown, it would have exceeded the
likely expectation of viewers watching a channel without access restrictions.
Ofcom was also concerned by the degree of offence likely to be caused to viewers watching at this time and the significant effect this material would have had on those who may have come across it unawares. There was no sufficient editorial justification
for the broadcast of these strong sexual images. Also in Ofcom's view factors such as the channel being in the adult sector of the EPG and the content being broadcast well after the watershed did not justify the broadcast of this material. This
has been made repeatedly clear by Ofcom in various published decisions.
Therefore Ofcom concluded that this content was not justified by the context and breached Rules 2.1 and 2.3.
Note to Adult Sex Chat Broadcasters
Broadcasters of adult sex chat services without mandatory access restrictions must take care to ensure that intrusive or detailed shots of presenters' anal and genital areas are not broadcast.
Sex on Tv has merged with Inxworld. The new package consists of Redlight Premium , Free-X1 , Free-X-2, X-Dream TV, French Lover TV , & Dorcel TV (on 6 channel card only) on 11.411H. Cards that cover this package are
being branded as Elite Fusion 6 Viewing Cards.
Sex On TV Diamond is still transmitting but this is a Free To Air Promo channel so cannot be counted in the channel lineup.
An elderly man rang me this week who had subscribed to one of the late-night softcore porn channels, paying £7 a month. After nine months, tired of its offerings, he cancelled the contract. Ahh, you're tied in for a year, said the company. But that
wasn't really his gripe – he paid the £30 they said he owed, and waved goodbye to the likes of "LollysDollies" and "My Perversions". And they're the titles we can print in a family newspaper.
What prompted his call was that, despite paying the final bill, he was then chased again and again by increasingly aggressive debt collectors. He steadfastly refused to pay and wrote to the TV channel, which acknowledged his account was up to date,
apologised for passing on his details in error to a third-party debt collector, and promised there would be no more threatening letters.
How many people would be embarrassed at what they'd done and paid up even though they didn't owe the money, perhaps because they're married and hadn't told their partner? my caller asked.
Adult Previews channel, Virgin Media
5 May 2009, 22:00
The Adult Previews channel is located on the Virgin Media service (Channel 470). The channel is operated and complied by Virgin Media Limited. It is available without any access restrictions and is situated in the ‘adult' section of the Virgin
Media electronic programme guide. Its purpose is to promote ‘adult-sex' channels with mandatory access restrictions which are available on the Virgin Media service. From 22:00 the channel broadcasts a series of promotional trailers on a loop, each of
which lasts around ten minutes.
Ofcom received a complaint about a free-to-view promotional trailer broadcast from 22:00 on 5 May 2009, promoting the ‘adult-sex' channel Playboy TV . The complainant said the trailer showed naked women simulating sex, touching themselves and
other women. The complainant felt that the sexual material broadcast in the trailer was too strong to be available at 22:00 without mandatory access restrictions.
Ofcom noted that the trailer for Playboy TV included eight separate promotions for programmes of a sexual nature broadcast on this channel. The trailer included frequent, but brief, clips of strong sexual material. These included: shots of naked breasts
and female pubic areas; men and women touching each other in a sexual manner, including licking and kissing breasts; women stroking their breasts and buttocks; and cropped shots of real or simulated sex acts. The trailer also contained an example of the
most offensive language: …do you like it when you get really hard and the girl fucking shoves your cock down her throat?
Ofcom considered Rules 2.1 (generally accepted standards) and 2.3 (material which may cause offence must be justified by the context).
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code
Ofcom noted the broadcaster's argument that the material complained of met generally accepted standards because it was broadcast on a channel with the specific and clearly labelled purpose of showing promotional trailers for ‘adult-sex' channels.
Further, the channel was located in the ‘adult' section of the Virgin EPG and therefore the material would not have exceeded the expectations of the audience. Also it was shown after 22:00. In addition, Ofcom noted that prior to 22:00 the channel
provides information to viewers regarding how they can restrict access to the ‘Adult Preview' channel and the ‘adult-sex' channels it promotes.
However, with regard to this particular trailer, Ofcom was concerned by the explicit nature of the content and the time of broadcast, given it could be viewed without any access restrictions. The trailer contained frequent shots of naked breasts and
female pubic areas, men and women touching each other in a sexual manner and cropped shots of real or simulated sex acts. It also contained most offensive language as well as sexually explicit language. In Ofcom's view therefore this material had the
potential to be highly offensive to viewers, especially ones who came across it unawares, and so was not within audience expectations. Graphic content of this nature, albeit tightly edited, requires a strong justification to be broadcast without access
restrictions, particularly if relatively soon after the 21:00 watershed. In this case the strong content was broadcast from 22:00 – only one hour after the watershed.
Ofcom has consistently made clear through previous published decisions that the broadcast of explicit sexual content, such as this, which is freely available and without access restrictions is not justified by context simply by it being shown on a
channel: in the ‘adult' section of an EPG; and whose title makes clear it specialises in broadcasting ‘adult' content. Furthermore, the provision of information to the viewer about voluntary parental controls which can restrict access to that channel
does not provide contextual justification for the broadcast of material of this nature at this time. This is particularly relevant in this case, given that the information provided by the broadcaster was not part of the trailer complained of or the
programming broadcast after 22:00. In light of these factors, it was Ofcom's view that, on balance, the broadcast of this offensive material was not sufficiently justified by the context and was a breach of generally accepted standards. Therefore the
material breached Rules 2.1 and 2.3 of the Code.
Sex Station is free-to-air and unencrypted programming on the channel Lucky Star, located in the 'adult' section of the Sky EPG. The channel broadcasts programmes based on interactive 'adult' sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact female
on-screen presenters via premium rate telephony services. The female presenters dress provocatively and encourage viewers to contact them.
As part of a separate investigation into the channel, Ofcom noted that during content broadcast on the channel after 21:00, the website URL www.sexstationtv.com was broadcast at intervals, in scrolling form across the screen.
Ofcom noted that on visiting the website there were no mandatory forms of age verification in place to enter the website. To access videos available on the website, users were required to complete mandatory age verification checks. Ofcom noted however
that the Website contained a number of unprotected free-to-view still pornographic images. Ofcom considered that these images were equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material.
Although the still images on the Website were not broadcast on-air, Ofcom was concerned that the Website URL was being promoted free-to-air. This was especially of concern, given Ofcom's previously published Finding on 21 July 2008 and 18 May 2009
against RHF Productions Ltd. These findings made it clear that it was a breach of the Code for free-to-air and unencrypted channels to make promotional references to website URLs which led to content that was equivalent to R18-rated material unless
appropriate protection was in place.
Rule 2.1 (generally accepted standards)
Rule 2.3 (broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by context)
Ofcom Decision: Breach of 2.1 and 2.3
In a finding of 21 July 2008 Ofcom stated that: While the content of…websites is not in itself broadcast material, and therefore not subject to the requirements of the Code, any on-air references to…websites are clearly broadcast content. Such
references must therefore comply with the Code.
Broadcasters may legitimately promote their own websites. While Ofcom does not regulate broadcasters' websites, the 21 July 2008 Finding made clear: In no circumstances may such websites contain R18 material if they are promoted on a licensed service.
Similarly, as the RHF Sanctions Decision stated: The broadcast of R18-rated equivalent material, or website URLs whose websites lead to R18-rated equivalent material, is totally unacceptable.
Ofcom took into consideration: the broadcaster's apology; that the Website URL was broadcast intermittently after the 21:00 watershed, when it was likely that fewer children would be viewing; and the channel is found in the 'adult' section of the EPG;
and the fact that, although the broadcaster should have been aware of the contents of the 21 July 2008 Finding, it did remove all Website URLs from its programming, on becoming aware of the RHF Sanctions Decision.
Nonetheless, in this case the Website URL was broadcast free-to-air, and it was possible to enter the Website (via the Website URL), without undergoing any mandatory age verification checks. On the Website were a number of free-to-view pornographic
images that Ofcom considered were equivalent to R18-rated material. The fact that, for example, the promotional references to the Website URL were broadcast on a channel in the 'adult' section of the EPG and the nature of the content on Lucky Star, did
not justify by the context the broadcast of these references. There was therefore a breach of generally accepted standards.
Gay TV promotion broadcast free-to-view
Gay TV, 26 March 2009, 22:00
Gay TV is a channel located in the adult section of the Electronic Programme Guide on both Sky and Virgin which specialises in showing homosexual adult-sex material. It is owned and operated by RHF Productions Limited, which is also the Licensee. Most of
this content is broadcast encrypted in accordance with the requirements of the Code. However, in common with a number of other adult-sex channels, it also broadcasts short free-to-air promotions usually between 10 and 15 minutes in length after 20:00.
Their purpose is to encourage viewers to subscribe to the encrypted adult-sex service. One viewer complained to Ofcom that material transmitted in a free-to-view promotion by Gay TV from 22:00 on 26 March 2009 was too explicit for the time of broadcast.
Ofcom noted that in this promotion some of the male presenters spoke to camera fully naked with their genitals in full view and on occasion in close up. Brief but non-explicit sequences of sexual activity, where genitals were frequently and clearly
visible, were also shown and on occasions the genitals were being handled. In addition, some explicit sexual language was used by the presenters. Examples included:
I'm aching to show you all the big dicks we have…getting hard for you tonight…
we will be unloading our balls all over big hot studs…
it's explicit sucking and fucking action…these boys are fresh and their cocks are throbbing to get some tight arse
it's all about cock so come in and get some tonight...
cock after cock after cock, giving and taking it until everyone blows their load.
Ofcom considered rules:
2.1 (the broadcaster must apply generally accepted standards)
2.3 (offensive material must be justified by the context).
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3
Ofcom noted the two graphic images of male genitalia referred to by the broadcaster. In addition however it also featured frequent scenes which focussed in close-up on genitals much of which had a graphic sexual element to it and brief clips of 'real
couples' having sex which, although brief and without any sexual nudity, would have left viewers in no doubt as to what was being depicted. It also featured a number of close-ups of the presenters' genitals as they spoke to camera with their legs spread
apart including one presenter led segment where the camera moved slowly in close up on his genitals whilst he spoke. In addition, as described above, some extremely explicit sexual language was employed. The material in this promotion therefore had the
potential to cause offence.
Ofcom then had to consider whether this potentially offensive material was justified by the context. In doing so we noted first that it was broadcast an hour after the watershed at 22:00 on a channel located in the 'adult' section of the EPG and was
preceded by a warning that it was aimed at a “mature audience aged 18 or over”. However, the use of material potentially suitable for broadcast only under encryption in promotions such as this requires particular care, precisely to avoid the inclusion of
inappropriate and/or unacceptable material, however, brief.
Ofcom disagreed with the broadcaster's assertion that this material was justified by the context because it was transmitted “well after” the watershed. Ofcom does not consider that 22:00 is so significantly past the watershed that audience expectations
will have evolved to the point that such explicit material as was included in this promotion (broadcast without mandatory access restrictions) could be transmitted at 22:00 without a correspondingly significant amount of justification for doing so.
Similarly, the warning provided by the broadcaster on this occasion (i.e. that it was aimed at an audience aged 18 and over) did not, in Ofcom's view, adequately convey the strength of some of the sexual material that was broadcast. This is particularly
the case when taking into account that it was freely available to view by anyone who might have come across it unawares.
Ofcom did not agree with the broadcaster's assessment that the current frequency with which it alleged it is “normal” to see male genitals in 'adult' promotions that are broadcast without mandatory access restrictions meant that the range and extent of
the genitals on show in this promotion was acceptable or that it was on a par with similar heterosexual material. Similarly, while Ofcom accepts that there is some editorial justification for the use of strong sexual language used in tandem with sexual
images in promotions broadcast without mandatory access restrictions, broadcasters cannot assume that the requirements of Section Two of the Code cease to apply at all. In this case the use of language such as “it's explicit sucking and fucking
action…these boys are fresh and their cocks are throbbing to get some tight arse…cock after cock after cock giving and taking it until everyone blows their load” was unacceptable for broadcast at 22:00 particularly when combined with a number of
extremely explicit images of genitals and brief scenes of 'real' sex.
In addition, Ofcom notes the advice given by the ITC (as described by Gay TV) related to what images could be broadcast, Gay TV said that the ITC had indicated to in 1998 that there were key differences between homosexual and heterosexual content which
meant that more shots of genitalia could be shown in homosexual content. However, the Licensee was unable to provide any written evidence of the advice given by the ITC ten years ago. In assessing this particular case, Ofcom took into account the
combined effect of the use of explicit images of genitals – including two for which the Licensee has apologised –with the use of some extremely explicit sexual language and it was clear to Ofcom that such material went beyond any apparent advice which
was given over ten years ago by a different regulator and under a different Code. This promotion was broadcast without access restrictions only one hour after the watershed. In assessing this content under the current Code, Ofcom did not find it
comparable with the type of material which might be more acceptable for broadcast without access restrictions after 23:00.
Taking all of the above into account, the broadcaster did not apply generally accepted standards and this promotion was therefore in breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3.
Comment: Early to Bed and Frustration
22nd July, thanks to Alan
Why the hell does Ofcom insist that everybody who wants to watch porn has to be (1) rich enough to afford pay TV and (2) a "nighthawk"? There must surely be porn lovers who want a swift J Arthur at half past nine before having an early night at
ten, as well as strapped for cash and therefore preferring to get their porn free.
For those of you that would like to see bobbing heads and strategically blocking pot plants in high definition, then you will be pleased to know that Penthouse are launching their softcore Penthouse HD channel in the UK in autumn.
For those of you that like to see proper porn in High Definition then Penthouse will also be launching hardcore channels Penthouse HD1 and Penthouse HD2 in the rest of Europe
Anthony L. Previte, COO of FriendFinder Networks, who owns the Penthouse brand said: "The name Penthouse is synonymous with the best adult content in the world. Early on, Penthouse saw the future of the HD market, making the transition of our
production exclusively to HD in 2006. Together with PH Media and General Satellite, we're poised to dominate the adult European broadcast market for years to come."
The hardcore channels will be available from September, and you can find them via the Eutelsat EUROBIRD 9 A at 9° East's satellite.
Bang Babes is programming of a sexual nature, available freely without access restrictions on the channel Tease Me (Sky channel number 912). It is situated in the 'adult' section of the Sky EPG. The channel broadcasts programmes, after the
21:00 watershed based on interactive 'adult' sex chat services: viewers are invited to contact on-screen presenters via premium rate telephony services. The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way.
Ofcom received a complaint about content broadcast, soon after 21:00, on Tease Me on 18 March 2009. The complainant said that the programme showed the presenters simulating masturbation and included close up screen images of the presenters' anal areas.
Overall the sexual content was considered to be in excess of the material generally available on a channel without restricted access at 21:00.
Ofcom viewed the material. It noted that the broadcast showed three different presenters during the period 21:00 and 22:00. In the background a rolling film showing clips of women's bodies, which included one particular image of buttocks that showed the
area immediately around the anus.
At 21:05 one of two presenters onscreen, wearing thong style pants, positioned herself on all fours and began to thrust her body to the camera for a period of approximately five minutes during which anal detail was visible. At 21:13 a single presenter
replaced the two women. There followed a 45 minute period with this presenter wearing a very skimpy thong. Images of her with her legs open and her buttocks to the camera showed her anal area in some detail. She also lightly touched her buttocks and
genital area and appeared to simulate oral masturbation.
Ofcom considered Rules 2.1 (generally accepted standards) and 2.3 (material which may cause offence must be justified by context) of the Code.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 2.1 and 2.3
In terms of the content of this broadcast one of the two presenters on screen at 21:05 posed in a sexual position, on all fours. Given that she was wearing thong style underwear there were occasions when her anal and labial areas were shown in intrusive
detail. In addition, when the single presenter took over at around 21:13, she lay on her back and opened her legs whilst she gyrated in a sexual manner. She also lightly touched her genital and anal area and spanked her buttocks and on a few, brief
occasions appeared to simulate oral masturbation.
In Ofcom's view the actions of each of these presenters onscreen between 21:05 and 22:00 was sexualised and sexually provocative and filmed in an intrusive manner. The nature and location of the channel in the 'adult' section of the EPG and the existence
of parental controls are not sufficient in Ofcom's view to justify broadcast of such content before 22:00. The broadcast was therefore not justified by the context and breached Rules 2.1 and 2.3.
Tease Me 2, 20 March 2009, 12:30
The Pad is a televised daytime interactive chat programme broadcast without access restrictions. It is located in the 'adult' section of the EPG on the service Tease Me 2 (Sky channel number 948). Viewers can call a premium rate telephone number
and talk to an onscreen female presenter.
Ofcom received a complaint that material broadcast at lunchtime featured a presenter in a black PVC basque and fishnet tights lying in various positions such as on her side and back with her legs intermittently opening. In addition, she stroked her legs,
thighs and buttocks throughout the broadcast. The presenter's outfit was skimpy revealing a low cleavage, and whilst lying on her back one of her nipples was visible for a short period of time.
Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 (children must be protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling) and Rule 2.3 (broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by context).
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 1.3 and 2.3
With reference to the nature of the content, the presenter was dressed in an item of clothing that was very revealing to the point where her breasts were barely covered. This meant that when she adopted a certain position on her back, and the producer
cut to a camera angle looking down onto her body, it was likely that her nipple area would be exposed to viewers. In Ofcom's opinion, one of the presenter's nipples was visible despite any nipple covers she was allegedly wearing.
In addition, in Ofcom's view, the positions adopted by the presenter – such as lying on her back with her legs opening and closing, and lying on her side lifting her legs up and down whilst stroking her thighs and buttocks – exceeded a “flirty” manner
and were sexualised in nature.
Whilst showing a bare breast and nipple before the watershed is not a breach of the Code where it is justified by context, in this case the sexual nature of this material in addition to the visibility of the presenter's breast and nipple meant this
partial nudity was shown in a clearly sexual context. This in Ofcom's view was not acceptable for a daytime broadcast.
Ofcom Note to Daytime and Adult Sex Chat Service Broadcasters
Ofcom has during the past two years published a number of breach findings relating to daytime chat and adult sex chat channels which are available without access restrictions. Some of these contraventions were considered serious enough and/or were
repeated so that Ofcom imposed financial penalties.
In this Bulletin, Ofcom has recorded breaches of the Code against broadcasters for transmitting material which was too sexually explicit.
Broadcasters operating in this area are reminded that Ofcom's Broadcast Bulletin and adjudications by the Content Sanctions Committee contain important guidance on the broadcast of sexual material. Failure to follow such guidance may result in Ofcom
considering further regulatory action, including statutory sanctions.
Daytime and adult sex chat broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen and ensure that generally accepted standards are applied to their material.
Daytime chat programmes must ensure that all material broadcast is appropriate for the time of day bearing in mind that it is transmitted before the watershed and at times when children may be in the audience.
Similarly, material of a sexual nature broadcast after the 21:00 watershed must be appropriately limited and justified by the context to ensure compliance with generally accepted standards. For instance, broadcasters operating in the free-to-air 'adult'
sex chat sector should take great care not to include physically invasive shots, in particular images of anal or genital areas for example, or of any real or simulated sex acts including masturbation or intercourse, or inappropriate shots of simulated
Chat Café is a daytime chat programme broadcast without access restrictions. It is located in the ‘adult' section of the Sky Electronic Programme Guide on the service LA Babes (Sky channel number 956). Viewers can call a premium rate
telephone number and talk to an onscreen presenter. Viewers can see the female presenters engaged in conversation but cannot hear what is being said as music is played over the images. At certain intervals the presenters can switch on a microphone
and speak directly to viewers to encourage them to call the premium rate telephone number.
Ofcom received a complaint that material broadcast at lunchtime featured a presenter in a low cut top and mini skirt engaged in inappropriate activities for a daytime broadcast. These included: jiggling her breasts to the camera; shaking her
bottom in front of the camera and lifting her skirt to reveal her buttocks; and opening her legs leaving the viewer with an impression that she was not wearing any underwear and simulating masturbation with a microphone.
Rule 1.3 (children must be protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling)
Rule 2.3 (broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by context).
The broadcaster stated that the presenter was dressed correctly at all times. However, the presenter's simulated masturbation of the microphone and the occasional touching of her upper body, even though they were presented in a fun and playful,
not sexually explicit way, were not in line with the broadcaster's own internal guidelines for the time of broadcast. Consequently the licensee had dismissed the producer and suspended the presenter with immediate effect. Furthermore, Fierce Media
also confirmed that the service LA Babeshad been taken off-air for an indefinite period following this complaint.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 1.3 and 2.3
Rule 1.3 makes clear that children should be protected from material which is unsuitable for them by appropriate scheduling. This is judged according to factors such as the nature of the content, the nature of the channel and the time of
In this case the nature of the content included a presenter behaving in an overtly sexual manner and, by the broadcaster's own admission, had engaged in simulating masturbation with a microphone at the request of a caller. Whilst taking other
telephone calls, the presenter also engaged in actions such as getting up from the bed and standing with her bottom to the camera; lifting her mini skirt to reveal her buttocks then stroking them suggestively; and lowering her top to reveal her
cleavage and then jiggling her chest to the camera.
The licensee stated that the presenter was wearing knickers at all times. In Ofcom's opinion, however, the broadcast images gave the impression to the viewer that the presenter was wearing minimal, or no, underwear. This was apparent when she
opened and closed her legs in front of the camera.
Given that these activities and images were not suitable for daytime broadcast, it was Ofcom's view that the positioning of this channel in the ‘adult' section of the EPG was not sufficient to provide adequate protection to prevent children from
accessing the content and this was a breach of Rule 1.3.
Furthermore, it was also Ofcom's view that the broadcast of this material would have exceeded the expectation of viewers watching television during the day and was therefore offensive.
Ofcom have been fined Portland Enterprises Ltd £27,500 for showing a little hardcore female masturbation in a programme Bathroom Bitches on its softcore TVX 2 channel.
But BobB points out that something is going on between Ofcon and the Satellite broadcasters! The program that supposedly breached the code, and attracted these fines, is still being regularly shown on TVX/Redhot (with no cuts from the original showing)
One would imagine that only an idiot would continue to broadcast a program for which they have already been fined.
Shaun asks: I'd like to know who these morons are, that subscribe to the Sky platform's "porn" channels (if you can call them that) and then complain about the fact that what they see on the screen is pornographic...
To be honest I care very little about the issue these days. The broadcasters are pandering to Ofcom instead of fighting their cause. Their subscribers are gullible into paying for such rubbish when there's more adult material than ever available from all
kind of sources online, and other satellites...
Ofcom, the adult broadcasters and the gullible subscribers all deserve each other really.
Ofcom have fined RHF Productions Ltd £25,000 for broadcasting the URLs of websites that feature hardcore teasers without an age verification mechanism. The softcore pay per view channels were broadcasting the links between 21 July 2008 and
28 August 2008.
Rule 1.2: In the provision of services, broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under eighteen
Rule 1.3: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them
Rule 2.1: Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language…[and] sex….
In Broadcast Bulletin 114 dated 21 July 2008, Ofcom published a breach Finding against RHF. Free-to-air trailers broadcast in February 2008 on Red Hot TV which included verbal and on-screen text references to RHF’s website address www.redhottv.co.uk and
Portland Enterprises’ website address www.televisionx.co.uk.
The websites to which the Website URLs led, featured content equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material which could be viewed without registration. As a result, it was the responsibility of all Licensees (including RHF) to take all appropriate and immediate
steps to comply with the Code.
On 14 August 2008, Ofcom were again alerted to the offending Website URLs. The Website URLs led to websites which, although they included a warning on their front page, contained extremely explicit sexual material (equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material).
This did not require registration to view and could be seen by under-eighteens.
On being contacted by Ofcom on 28 August 2008, however, RHF took immediate steps to ensure the removal of the Website URLs from the Red Hot Channels. This was achieved on 28 August 2008.
Ofcom noted that whilst the content of the websites, to which the Website URLs led, was not broadcast material, and therefore not subject to the Code, the on-air references to the Website URLs were clearly broadcast content and must comply with the Code.
The on-air references to the Website URLs did not comply with the Code because they led users to websites allowing unrestricted access to R18-rated equivalent material.
Television Not So X 2
Ofcom have fined Portland Enterprises Ltd £27,500 for showing a little hardcore female masturbation on its softcore TVX 2 channel.
Rule 1.25: BBFC R18-rated films or their equivalent must not be broadcast
Ofcom received a complaint that the programme Bathroom Bitches broadcast on Television X2 (TVX2) on 4 September 2008 at 21:53, although encrypted, contained R18 equivalent material. The Programme included prolonged and explicit scenes of a woman
masturbating, some of which were shown in close-up and depicted vaginal penetration using a dildo. Ofcom considered that the content broadcast was equivalent to BBFC R18-rated material because of the sexual explicitness detailed above.
Portland Compliance admitted the Code breach stating that: Regrettably, the programme contained such footage [R18-rated equivalent material] . Ofcom therefore recorded a breach of Rule 1.25 (R18-rated equivalent material must not be broadcast)
against Portland Enterprises for transmitting the Programme.
Ofcom considered that lthough encrypted, the equivalent of R18-rated material (namely images of actual vaginal penetration) has the potential to cause harm to under-eighteens and children in particular.
The grim economic outlook seems to be prompting a rise in the number of Italian viewers turning to porn on pay TV.
The number of folks shelling out to watch a pay-per-view hardcore porn pic on the 26 Hot Club channels beamed by Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia satcaster has been growing lately, generating a hefty intake of some $2.6 million per week, according to
financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore. The take is at least 10 times that of Sky’s regular on-demand movies.
One of the Silvio Berlusconi government’s first measures was to introduce a 25% porno tax as part of a 2008 anticrisis bill to help replenish the country’s drying coffers.
Conto TV, a growing digital terrestrial on-demand paybox whose core business is porn, took the tax in stride. It aired a cheeky spot urging Italians to contribute to saving the Italian economy by becoming customers.
The government made the porn tax appealing to the arts community by assuring the hard-hit Italian film industry it would receive a portion of the revenue in the form of added film subsidies. But apparently, instead of forking over to the film industry
some of the porn tax coin reaped in these first few months as promised, the government is pocketing the entire roughly $80 million haul.
The TV censor, Ofcom has fined Playboy TV £22,500 in respect of their now defunct free to air Playboy One channel.
Ofcom have been gradually clamping down on free to air softcore over a series of decisions made over the last couple of years.
Unfortunately for Playboy One, Ofcom's new interpretation of the rules proved unviable for Playboy One and it closed in September 2008. It was replaced by the encrypted Paul Raymond TV service but Playboy say that the suffered losses both from a drop in
revenue and the loss of the opportunity to advertise encrypted adult services on a free to air channel.
Playboy argued that Ofcom were being unfair to have changed the rules such the softcore content generally unchallenged when Playboy One started in 2005 had become verboten by 2007/8. But to to no avail. For whatever reason, Ofcom seem set on banning
softcore from free to air channels and restricting into encrypted programming. Where of course customers are then disappointed because they rightfully expect hardcore programming and get fobbed off with tame softcore.
Ofcom justify the fine with a hard line interpretation of their programme code:
Rule 1.24: Premium subscription services and pay per view/night services may broadcast ‘adult-sex’ material between 2200 and 0530 provided that [in addition to other protections]: · there is a mandatory PIN protected
encryption system, or other equivalent protection, that seeks satisfactorily to restrict access solely to those authorised to view; and · there are measures in place that ensure that the subscriber is an adult.
Rule 2.1: Generally accepted standards must be applied to the content of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material.
Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context […]. Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.
Ofcom received five complaints between September 2007 and January 2008 that material broadcast free-to-air and un-encrypted on Playboy One featured explicit sexual content that was inappropriate on a free-to-airservice.
Ofcom investigated material transmitted on Playboy One in seven
· Jenna’s American Sex Star (26 September 2007, 23:35);
· Adult Stars Close-up (27 September 2007, 00:35);
· Blue Collar Babes (27 September 2007, 01:05);
· Sexy Girls Next Door (27 September 2007, 02:00);
· Sexy Urban Legends (29 November 2007, 23:00);
· Sex House (30 November 2007, 00:35); and
· Sex Guides (9 December 2007, 03:30).
The broadcasts investigated included [softcore] sequences depicting masturbation, oral sex (both between women and between men and women), clear labial detail, sexual intercourse, and full nudity. Some also included strong language, such as “fuck” and
its derivatives and “cunt”, in an overtly sexual context.
Ofcom assessed the material broadcast between 23:00 and 03:30 on the dates in question. It concluded that – depending on the individual breach - the explicitness, strength and/or sustained nature of the sexual content and language was unacceptable for
broadcast on a free-to-air channel. The primary purpose of this material was sexual stimulation. None had a sufficient and clear editorial context to justify its broadcast. It was considered to be ‘adult-sex’ material under Rule 1.24 and so should have
been broadcast under encryption and in line with the other requirements of Rule 1.24.
‘Adult’ channels generally and ‘adult chat’ channels should be in no doubt of Ofcom’s concerns about the broadcast of sexual material which is too explicit. Should further such cases be considered for sanction in future, the
Committee will continue to regard them very seriously. If highly graphic sexual material is broadcast without editorial justification on a free-to-air channel even on a single occasion it can be a very serious breach of the Code.