Ofcom fines Portland Enterprises Ltd for Broadcasting Code breaches

23 July 2008

23 July 2008

Ofcom has fined Portland Enterprises Ltd £25,000 for breaches of Ofcom's Broadcasting Code in respect of its service Television X - The Fantasy Channel.

Portland Enterprises was fined for transmitting - under encryption - material that Ofcom judged to be the equivalent of 'R18' - i.e. highly explicit sex material - which is prohibited under the Code; and for transmitting - free-to-air - explicit sexual content, which Ofcom considered to be 'adult-sex' material.

Specifically, Ofcom has found Portland Enterprises in breach of the following rules:

Rule 1.24: "Premium subscription services and pay per view/night services may broadcast 'adult-sex' material between 2200 and 0530 provided that in addition to other protections:

  • there is a mandatory PIN protected encryption system, or other equivalent protection, that seeks satisfactorily to restrict access solely to those authorised to view; and
  • there are measures in place that ensure that the subscriber is an adult";

Rule 1.25: "BBFC R18-rated films or their equivalent must not be broadcast";

Rule 2.1: "Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material"; and

Rule 2.3: "In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence."

The full Adjudication is available on the Ofcom website.