ICASA grants TopTV rights to porn channels

Johannesburg – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby gives notice that it has authorised On Digital Media (operating as TopTV) to broadcast the three adult content channels Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice within the watershed period.

The authorisation of this application follows an extensive public consultation process which the Authority undertook prior to granting the application by On Digital Media (ODM).

The Authority upholds the view that there is no law of general application prohibiting the production and distribution of adult content in the Republic. Only the production and distribution of child pornography is expressly prohibited by law.


The authorisation therefore limits the broadcast of the adult content to the watershed period i.e. period from 20h00 to 05h00.

The Authority approved the application on the basis that the licensee shall ensure that programming on this channel which contains sexually explicit scenes, conduct and/or offensive language intended for adult audiences shall not be broadcast before the watershed period; and all the security measures including the double pin code as outlined in the application are in place to safeguard children’s rights.


The Authority has also considered all submissions made in respect of this application from all interested stakeholders and it was found that most of the representations made were based on moral grounds; rather than a research evidence to demonstrate some of the conclusive remarks linking pornography and gender-based violence. It is the Authority’s view that indeed there is no basis or law for the rejection of Top TV’s application.

To this end, the Authority has decided to authorise Top TV to broadcast the three adult entertainment channels as applied for, with more emphasis on the compliance with the licence terms and conditions, the Code of Conduct and all underlying statutes.

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