Ofcom takes pleasure at censoring Studio 66…Babe channel offends the TV censor for being slightly too sexy

Posted: 24 October, 2014 in Ofcom TV Censor, Sex on TV
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studio 66 logo Studio 66
Studio 66 TV3, 4 June 2014, 22:15
Studio 66 TV1, 6 June 2014, 01:45

Studio 66 Nights was a segment of interactive adult chat advertising content broadcast on the service Studio 66 TV. The service, broadcasting on a digital satellite platform, is freely available without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the adult section of the electronic programme guide (EPG). Viewers are invited to contact on-screen presenters via premium rate telephony services (PRS). The female presenters dress and behave in a sexually provocative way while encouraging viewers to contact the PRS numbers.

The licence for Studio 66 TV3 is owned and operated by 965 TV Limited.

Ofcom received a complaint that at 22:30 the on-screen female presenter was rubbing her genitals.

We assessed the material between 22:15 and 22:45 and noted the female presenter was wearing a thong and white vest top pulled down to expose her breasts. During the broadcast, the presenter sat for extended periods of time with her legs apart and repeatedly stroked and rubbed her genital area through her thong. On a further two occasions she moved her hand underneath her underwear and appeared to rub her genital area. The presenter’s thong also failed to adequately cover the area around her genitals and this area was exposed on a number of occasions during the broadcast.

Ofcom considered BCAP Code Rule 4.2.This states:

Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards .

Ofcom rules for babe channels include that adult chat broadcasters should:

  • at no time broadcast anal, labial or genital areas or broadcast images of presenters touching their genital or anal areas whether with their hand or an object
  • ensure that presenters’ clothing adequately covers their anal, labial or genital areas.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of BCAP rule 4.2

In this case, the material was clearly at odds with the Guidance. The location of the channel within the adult section of the EPG and the time of broadcast were not sufficient mitigating factors to ensure serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards by the broadcast of this material on an advertising-based service was avoided. Rule 4.2 was therefore breached.

We also noted the Licensee’s assertion that certain non-PRS adult channels (regulated under the Broadcasting Code) broadcast much stronger material by way of free-to-air and unencrypted promotional clips than the Licensee’s channels. Ofcom noted that these kinds of promotions for adult services are typically very short in length, and consist of a rolling series of very brief, tightly cut clips shown on editorial services which are specifically licensed to broadcast adult sex material’, subject to various restrictions.

Ofcom has noted the various measures taken by the Licensee to improve compliance after being alerted by Ofcom to the broadcast of this material. Nonetheless, Ofcom puts 965 TV on notice that should similar breaches of the BCAP Code occur on this Licensee’s chat or adult chat services it will consider further regulatory action.

Ofcom found similarly against the complaint on Studio 66 TV1.

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