British TV channel fined for broadcasting Playboy show before watershed

A digital TV channel in the UK was handed a £40,000 (€49,704) fine today for screening a back-to-back series of racy shows featuring nude Playboy models before the watershed during the Christmas holidays.

TV regulator Ofcom had found E! Entertainment breached the broadcasting code by showing the editions of 'Girls Of The Playboy Mansion' throughout the day when children could be watching.

It imposed a financial penalty on the station as a result of the screenings on December 27 last year.

Ofcom decided the episodes included material which was “unsuitable for pre-watershed broadcast” and the episodes were shown at a time, during the holiday period, when it was likely unaccompanied children could have been watching.

The shows were shown in batches from 10am to 1pm and then from 4pm until the watershed of 9pm.

They included “prolonged sequences of nudity”, although there was blurring, with models filmed during magazine casting sessions and a lingerie party, which Ofcom said were “clearly unsuitable” for children. Scenes of a male stripper in a thong were shown at 10.54am.

The channel had previously been found in breach for two programmes, which were unsuitable for broadcast before the watershed due to offensive language and the nature of the content.

The broadcaster said the programmes were cleared for “compliance” with the code by a team based in Los Angeles, but it had since transferred the responsibility to representatives in the UK.

It accepted that it was a “very serious” and “extremely regrettable” breach for which it apologised unreservedly.

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