2 August 2011, 22:50 to 23:00 and 23:50 to 00:00
Adult Channel is a channel broadcast under a licence held by Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd.
Between the hours of 22:00 and 05:30 it is a subscription services providing softcore adult material subject to encrypted and restricted access. The channel however includes some sections broadcast without mandatory restricted freeview access to promote the channel and encourage viewers to subscribe.
On 8 August 2011 Playboy alerted Ofcom to a scheduling error which had resulted in content normally shown encrypted being broadcast without the restrictions for ten minutes on two separate occasions after 22:00.
On assessing the content, Ofcom noted the material broadcast at 22:50 started with about 30 seconds of non-explicit images of a man and woman appearing to have sexual intercourse. This was followed by some advertisements, channel idents and channel promotions to encourage viewers to subscribe to the service. The last seven minutes of the material showed a woman in a garden performing a striptease set to music.
The second piece of material broadcast at 23:50 started with about 30 seconds of a film including a brief image of a topless woman. This was followed by some advertisements, channel idents and promotions to encourage viewers to subscribe to the service. The last seven minutes of the material showed a woman in a photographer’s studio performing a slow striptease set to music. This material included a close-up shot of the woman naked and stroking her genitals that lasted approximately eight seconds, and included close-up images of the woman’s genitals.
Ofcom considered Rule 1.18
‘Adult sex material’ – material that contains images and/or language of a strong sexual nature which is broadcast for the primary purpose of sexual arousal or stimulation – must not be broadcast at any time other than between 2200 and 0530 on premium subscription services and pay per view/night services which operate with mandatory restricted access. In addition, measures must be in place to ensure that the subscriber is an adult.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.18
Ofcom considered the material broadcast at:
- 22:50 showing strong but not explicit images of a man and woman appearing to have sexual intercourse; and
- 23:50 that included clear images of the woman masturbating and close ups of her genitals,
was adult sex material, i.e. contained images of a sexual nature which were broadcast for the primary purpose of sexual arousal or stimulation. Being broadcast between 22:00 and 05:30 but without mandatory restricted access, it was therefore in breach of Rule 1.18.
In Ofcom’s view, given the nature of the material and that it involved a compliance failure that had occurred previously, Ofcom considered whether to take further regulatory action in this case. However, given that Playboy TV reported this error to us in a proactive and timely fashion, we do not consider further regulatory action is necessary on this occasion.