In response to the public furore around reports that South African pay-TV platform TopTV is to launch three Playboy channels, TopTV has released the following statement:
The Adult Pack that is soon to be introduced on the TopTV platform comes on the back of research that has found there is a viable market for adult content in South Africa.
This content will only be available, however, as a completely distinct, stand-alone package requiring a separate monthly subscription fee, and will not be integrated into the current TopTV bouquet of programmes and content.
“TopTV absolutely respects the right of any person who chooses not to subscribe to the Adult Pack. However, there are many people in South Africa who enjoy viewing adult content, and who would like to do so in the privacy of their homes. The introduction of The Adult Pack of channels meets a market demand,’ says Marius Liebenberg, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing of TopTV.
“However, we have taken every precaution to ensure that the content can only be accessed by people older than 18 who have consciously made a financial decision to acquire the distinct Adult Pack and then only on a distinct encrypted platform through a separate monthly subscription and only after entering a unique, four-digit PIN to unlock the content.
“It is the right of all adults to view content of their choice in the privacy of their homes. This is a right enshrined in the South African constitution. It is a personal choice that consenting adults are entitled to make. Adult content is already freely available on mobile telephones, the Internet, and at specialist outlets.’
In a quantitative research study commissioned by TopTV and conducted by an independent research company among 500 adults across all population groups, 71% of respondents agreed that “an adult has a right to watch pornography in the privacy of his/her home’.
TopTV has taken great care and is satisfied it has more than sufficient mechanisms in place to help people protect their children from accessing the Adult Pack.
Potential subscribers to the Adult Pack on the TopTV platform will need to:
- make a conscious financial decision to subscribe to the Adult Pack at a separate monthly cost,
- provide adequate proof that they are older than 18,
- agree to sign up to the stand-alone Adult Pack,
- pay a separate monthly subscription fee of R199 for the Adult Pack that will enable subscribers to view only the adult content,
- purchase a TopTV decoder and install it (if not a current TopTV subscriber to its other bouquet of channels), and
- contact a separate Call Centre (to Top TV )number to do so.
“The Adult Pack will not be introduced into the TopTV bouquet as simply another channel universally accessible to all subscribers. Subscribing to the Adult Pack will be a distinct and conscious decision that only adult viewers who wish to receive such content will need to make and will need to act on and pay for,’ explains Liebenberg.
TopTV subscribers only have access to the TopTV channels that they are currently subscribed to. Likewise, potential subscribers to the Adult Pack channel offering will only have access to these channels.
There are extensive mechanisms in place to ensure that only those who have elected to subscribe to the service, can access the content. These mechanisms include a unique, four-digit PIN code to protect minors from accessing the material, and a secure method of delivery via a distinct pay-TV platform. Each time an adult channel is chosen, the secret PIN will need to be entered. This will apply, too, when the television set is turned on and during channel surfing in the normal course of television viewing.