Playboy TV fined £25,000

Ofcom imposes sanction for R18 Code Breach

The satellite service Playboy TV has been fined £25,000 by broadcasting regulator Ofcom for transmitting an R18 film on its encrypted service in breach of the Programme Code.

The Code contains an absolute ban on R18 films, which had been broken when Playboy TV had transmitted a highly sexually explicit film just after midnight on 1 May 2004.

Playboy TV had accepted the breach and had blamed human error. However, Ofcom’s Sanctions Committee found that the Code breaches in respect of the R18 material were so serious that a sanction by way of a financial penalty was necessary.

Fining the channel £25,000, Ofcom criticised its lack of appropriate compliance procedures and also took into account separate breaches of the code in the transmissions of promotional material in its free-to-air service.