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DStv, Nat Geo in trouble over sex promos

15 May 2013, 17:48 Thinus Ferreira

Cape Town – MultiChoice and the National Geographic Channel have been rapped over the knuckles by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for promoting sexual content on DStv in the morning.

The National Geographic Channel, which broadcasts on MultiChoice's pay-TV platform DStv, aired promos for a show called Sex Slaves, which contained scenes of nudity and sexuality, without an age restriction on South African television in the morning - when children are likely to be watching.

The BCCSA, in its judgement, didn't fine MultiChoice but said that "to simply thrust upon younger children promotional material in a programme where there is no age limit, and in the morning, is unsuitable".

TV channels in South Africa are not, according to the broadcasting code of conduct, allowed to broadcast promotional material which is unsuitable for children or contains nudity or sexual conduct, violence or offensive language before the watershed period.

'In bad taste'

The BCCSA received a complaint, which was upheld, after the National Geographic Channel on DStv, during a family programme about sharks, showed a promo for Sex Slaves, a programme about sex tourism in Thailand, at 06:50 SA time.

It also aired a promo for a show entitled Dangerous Liaisons, about deviant sexual behaviour, which included images of people in bondage gear - including a dog muzzle mask, a striptease and sexualised positions.

"This was inappropriate for my 8-year-old son who was watching at the time," a complainant told the BCCSA. DStv told the National Geographic Channel that the promotional material was inappropriate and withdrew it immediately.

MultiChoice argued that "the promo didn't contravene the code" because it "did not contain frontal nudity" and "did not contain explicit material featuring sexual conduct".

But MultiChoice told the BCCSA that "we are however aware that some of the viewers might have found the promo to be in bad taste in particular family viewing time and have therefore instructed the channel not to broadcast the promo before the watershed period".

The BCCSA in its judgement said that it "agrees with MultiChoice in informing the relevant foreign TV channel that the promo should be removed in further broadcasts where children would, in the ordinary course of events, be exposed to the material. In the light of the action taken, we do not deem it necessary to issue a sanction".

* Channel24 and Multichoice are owned by Naspers.

- Channel24


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