Top TV fights for porn amid subscriber slump

On Digital Media (ODM)’s Top TV (now StarSat) subscriber numbers have dwindled to between 80,000 – 85,000, from a high of 400,000.

This is according to a recent report in the Sunday Times, as the group continues to fight for a license to air three porn pay channels.

ODM launched Top TV in May 2010, with the group’s subscriber base swelling to over 200,000 in only seven months.

Vino Govender of First National Media Investment, and founding CEO of ODM, claimed Top TV received between R12-million to R13-million from monthly subscriptions compared to R42-million when he stepped down in early 2012, the Sunday Times reported.

Judgment in an application for leave to appeal a court ruling on the licensing of the three channels was reserved until December 10 by the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

On Digital Media (ODM) wants permission to appeal Judge Lee Bozalek’s order that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) review its decision last year to license ODM’s porn channels.

ODM’s legal team argued on Friday that there were reasonable prospects of success should Bozalek’s decision be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

ODM (operating as Top TV and later StarSat) was granted three licences on April 23 last year to broadcast Playboy TV, Desire TV, and Brazzers, subject to conditions.

Icasa’s issuing of the licences was challenged by the Justice Alliance of SA (Jasa), Doctors for Life, and Cause for Justice, which argued that Icasa erred in making its decision.

Icasa and ODM were ordered to pay the applicants’ costs. ODM appealed the whole order, including that of costs.

In its appeal application, ODM argued that Icasa’s decision was only invalid insofar as it failed to prohibit ODM from broadcasting films that had been classified as “X18”, in accordance with the Film and Publications Act.

It believed that remitting the decision back to Icasa would lead to unnecessary delay, prejudice and costs.

With Sapa

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Top TV fights for porn amid subscriber slump