Porn TV to launch de­spite re­li­gious groups’ out­rage

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SAMEER NAIK

DE­SPITE the out­cry from sev­eral re­li­gious groups, SA satel­lite TV ser­vice TOPTV will launch its 24-hour porn ser­vice next year. It said it would not budge on its de­ci­sion.

Three adult chan­nels, in­clud­ing Play­boy TV, will be avail­able on the stand-alone sep­a­rate bou­quet of­fered for R199 a month.

“The adult pack that is soon to be in­tro­duced on the TOPTV plat­form comes on the back of re­search that has found there is a vi­able mar­ket for adult con­tent in SA,” said Melinda Con­nor, spokes­woman for TOPTV.

Con­nor said the iden­tity of the other two chan­nels in the porn bou­quet would be an­nounced closer to the launch time. She said the pay TV ser­vice would not budge from its de­ci­sion to launch. “We have made our­selves avail­able for en­gage­ment with these or­gan­i­sa­tions and no one has come for­ward to have an open and frank dis­cus­sion with us.

“We have is­sued var­i­ous me­dia re­leases and di­rect re­sponses to most of the par­ties in ques­tion. How­ever, it would seem their ob­jec­tions are not based on any of the in­for­ma­tion we have pro­vided nor do they take such in­for­ma­tion into ac­count.”

Con­ner said the groups had also ig­nored their calls for fur­ther di­rect en­gage­ment. “It is the right of all adults to view con­tent of their choice in the pri­vacy of their homes. It is a per­sonal choice that con­sent­ing adults are en­ti­tled to make,” she said.

“Adult ma­te­rial is al­ready freely avail­able on cell­phones, the in­ter­net and at spe­cial­ist out­lets.”

Mar­ius Lieben­berg, TOPTV se­nior vice pres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing, said the con­tent would be avail­able as a dis­tinct, stand-alone pack­age re­quir­ing a sep­a­rate monthly sub­scrip­tion fee, and would not be in­te­grated into the cur­rent bou­quet of pro­grammes.

Lieben­berg said TOPTV had taken ev­ery pre­cau­tion to en­sure the con­tent could only be ac­cessed by peo­ple older than 18.

This in­cluded a four-digit PIN code to keep chil­dren away, and a se­cure method of de­liv­ery via a dis­tinct pay-tv plat­form. Each time an adult chan­nel was cho­sen, the se­cret PIN would need to be en­tered.

How­ever, re­li­gious groups such as the Chris­tian Fam­ily Pol­icy In­sti­tute in SA are fu­ri­ous.

“The Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tions and church af­fil­i­a­tions sup­port the view that the broad­cast­ing of hard­core pornog­ra­phy on tele­vi­sion de­grades and ob­jec­ti­fies women and ex­poses chil­dren to harm­ful con­tent,” said Er­rol Naidoo, di­rec­tor of the in­sti­tute. “The broad­cast­ing of pornog­ra­phy also fu­els the sex­ual ex­ploita­tion and abuse of women and chil­dren in so­ci­ety and de­val­ues the fam­ily.”

Naidoo said the com­pany’s as­sur­ances meant noth­ing.

“The re­al­ity is that most of the rapes and sex­ual abuse of the 55 000 women and 25 000 chil­dren ev­ery year is com­mit­ted by Toptv’s pri­mary tar­get mar­ket, which are adult males,” said Naidoo.

“Mil­lions of Chris­tians will be en­cour­aged to join the mass boy­cott of TOPTV by not pay­ing their sub­scrip­tion fees and can­celling their con­tracts with the pay chan­nel.”

Is­lamic or­gan­i­sa­tion, the SA Mus­lim Net­work, said that it, too, would be boy­cotting TOPTV.

“Should TOPTV de­cide to con­tinue with the porn satel­lite TV, we will be ad­vis­ing all Mus­lim sub­scribers to stop subscriptions to TOPTV…”

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