Porn TV channel to be banned

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The Independent Online
MARIANNE MACDONALD

Media Correspondent

The Government is set to ban the pornographic satellite channel TV Erotica from British screens, Virginia Bottomley, the Secretary of State for Heritage, said yesterday.

The Swedish-based station, which advertises itself as "Europe's hottest adult movie channel", shows films featuring uninhibited sex.

People in Britain with certain satellite dishes can view the channel - which is beamed from the Eutelsat satellite - if they pay pounds 139 for an appropriate smart card.

Mrs Bottomley told the Today programme on Radio 4 that action to ban the channel was in hand.

"I've been very concerned about that channel and have been taking steps. I'll be able to make further announcements before long," she said.

"When there is material going out which is damaging to children's health and well being then there are necessary powers that need to be taken." The official announcement is expected to be made within the next fortnight.

The Government can effectively ban TV Erotica from British screens by making it an offence to sell the smart cards in Britain and to advertise or publish information about the service.

Similar action was taken in 1993 to ban the pornographic station Red Hot Dutch from Britain, but viewers can still see the channel by purchasing the smart card on the continent.

The order proscribing Red Hot Dutch by the British government put the station out of business, as it lost vast sums of money when it appealed to the European courts about the ban.

Similar stations, such as TV 69, have started broadcasting from the continent but have made a deliberate decision not to market their smartcards or advertise in Britain.

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