Ofcom has fined Satellite Entertainment Ltd ฃ130,000 for being a little bit too sexy for what Ofcom prudes consider acceptable on babe channels.
The fine is in respect of its services Sport XXX Girls, Essex Babes and Northern Birds.
Ofcom considers babe channels to be advertising and censors such channels using advert censorship rules:
- Rule 4.2: Adverts must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
- Rule 32.3: Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them
In addition Ofcom whinged at a lack of recordings from the channels and cited their licensing rule:
- Rule 11: The Licensee shall adopt procedures acceptable to Ofcom for the retention and production of recordings in sound and vision of any programme which is the subject matter of a Standards Complaint
The overly sexy programmes were broadcast in the period 5th – 14th April 2011.
Ofcom highlighted a number of examples of broadcast material that were claimed to be clearly inconsistent with the Chat Service Guidance, such as:
- extremely prolonged and close up images of the genital area;
- bunching of underwear to simulate masturbation;
- pouring oil and white cream onto, and massaging it into, the buttocks, anal area and genital area; and
- presenters wearing clothing that did not adequately cover their genital and anal area.
Ofcom noted that in conjunction with those images the presenters performed various other actions including: opening their legs wide to camera; stroking their bodies; thrusting their buttocks; massaging oil into their breasts; and miming sexual intercourse. The combination of these images and action resulted in prolonged and frequent scenes of a strong sexual nature. Ofcom said it was also concerned at the degree of offence likely to be caused to viewers who might come across this material unawares.
Ofcom decided that the Code breaches were serious and repeated, and that the breach of Licence Condition 11 was serious, and therefore a financial penalty should be imposed in accordance with Ofcom’s Procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions.
Ofcom then also considered the level of the fine to be imposed. Having regard to the serious and repeated nature of the breaches of the BCAP Code, the serious nature of the breach of Licence Condition 11 and having regard to the Licensee’s representations and Ofcom’s Penalty Guidelines, Ofcom decided it was appropriate in the circumstances to impose a financial penalty of ฃ130,000 on SEL.