‘Babe’ channel fined £17,500

Posted: July 11, 2008

Regulatory body Ofcom has fined Square 1 Management, the owners of ‘babe’ TV channel Smile TV, £17,500 for a serious breach of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Smile TV – which has been known as Blue Kiss TV since July 2007 – is broadcast without encryption as a free-to-air channel and is listed under the adult section of Sky’s Electronic Programme Guide. It shows mainly live programmes using female presenters who invite viewers to contact them using premium rate services.

Ofcom received a complaint on 23 May 2007 about the explicit sexual nature
of the content broadcast on Smile TV on 22 May 2007 at around 22.25. The
complainant referred to shots in which a female presenter appeared to insert
her fingers into her anus several times and masturbate for a number of
minutes. The presenter wore only a thong and appeared to carry out the actions described by the complainant. There were also prolonged shots of her lying on her back, with her legs wide apart in front of the camera, apparently masturbating through the thong. She also encouraged viewers to call her by saying, for example: “Well, I tell you what, you’re not lasting a second tonight guys. Maybe it’s all my oil on my shaved minge…If you’d like to hear some explicit chat tonight, while you’re having a good old tommy tank…”

Ofcom concluded that the sexual content on the programme was so explicit and prolonged, particularly the visual images, that it was ‘adult-sex’ material, which should have been broadcast under encryption.

In mitigation, the broadcaster said that the presenter’s behaviour was simulated and that she had taken personal responsibility for her actions and apologised, and that she had since resigned.

After considering all the evidence, Ofcom decided that the breaches by Smile TV of the Broadcasting Code were sufficiently serious to attract a financial penalty.

The full Adjudication of this case can be seen at:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/obb/ocsc_adjud/SmileTV.pdf

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