The best laid plans of TopTV have been dashed by South African communications regulator, ICASA, which has prohibited the On Digital Media-owned satellite television network from placing three adult channels in its lineup. The planned channels were Playboy Europe, Private Spice and Adult XXX.
"We advise that the council of the authority ... decided, after careful consideration, to refuse On Digital Media’s application for the authorization of (the proposed) video channels," ICASA said in a letter sent to TopTV today.
This is the second time in two years that plans to introduce porn to South African TV airwaves has been foiled by opposition from either the public or the government government.
"Last year," reported Reuters, "the DSTV broadcaster owned by Naspers, was forced to cancel its adults-only channel application in the face of consumer outrage and disapproval by senior government officials."
TopTV has said it is considering how to respond, but considering that Kopano ke Matla Investment Company, the investment arm of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), said earlier this week that it would pull its 20 percent stake in On Digital Media if the channels launch, the decision may have already been made for TopTV.
It looks as though South Africans will have to make do with adult DVDs and internet porn for the foreseeable future.