‘Porn week’ on the BBC

Posted: September 3, 2009

The BBC broadcast two programmes this week, both devoted to aspects of the adult industry. The first, on Monday 31st August, was Hardcore Profits in which: “Tim Samuels explores the rising profitability and pervasiveness of pornography – how new technology is bringing new audiences to porn and creating powerful new revenue streams for supposedly ‘family friendly’ phone and credit card companies. At the US headquarters of a popular porn website, Tim gets ‘hands on’ with their latest technology.”

In the programme he tried to discover to what extent porn was contributing to the bottom line of companies such as Vodafone and Visa, as well as some of the world’s leading hotel chains.

He obviously had a generous travel budget; as well as America he visited Ghana, where he met a handful of people who claimed that US porn productions were influencing sexual behaviour, and contributing to the rise in AIDs on the continent.

The programme, which is one of two, will be repeated on BBC 1 on Friday this week. UK viewers can also watch it online for a limited period by visiting:
www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00mk52f/Hardcore_Profits_Episode_1/

The following night BBC 4 broadcast the final episode in its Rich Man Poor Man series, called Ben Dover Straightens. A camera crew followed Ben Dover around over a few months and recorded his attempts to make it as a straight actor. The programme began on a high, with him receiving his Services to the Industry award at the 2008 ETO Adult Industry Awards, but then in contrast there were dispiriting rounds of go-sees, acting lessons and auditions.

The programme was thick with irony; what allowed Ben Dover to now follow his dream – his success in porn – was almost making him unemployable. Repeats of Ben Dover Straightens can be seen at various times on Saturday 5th September, Sunday 6th and Monday 7th. UK viewers can also watch the programme online at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mg9dd for a limited period. It can also be downloaded.

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