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Portland fined £27,500 for explicit scenes

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Portland fined £27,500 for explicit scenes

Rex Features

Warning: This article contains language and/or sexual references that younger readers are advised to avoid.

Portland Enterprises has been fined £27,500 by Ofcom for breaching its broadcasting code, which states that BBFC R18-rated films or their equivalent must not be broadcast.

Ofcom received a complaint that the programme Bathroom Bitches, broadcast on Television X2 on September 4, 2008 at 9.53pm, contained R18 equivalent material. The programme, which was encrypted, included prolonged scenes of a woman masturbating, some of which were shown in close-up, and all of which were explicit.

The complainant also said that the programme contained sequences of dildos being inserted into a woman's vagina.

Ofcom said that the content broadcast was equivalent to BBFC R18 material because the of the explicitness and ruled that because of the seriousness of the breaches, a financial penalty was appropriate. The content sanctions committee also viewed that the breach was made more serious by the fact that the R18-rated material was shown before 10pm.

Six weeks prior to the incident, the committee decided to impose a fine of £25,000 on Portland Enterprises for a breach of the same code rule on Television X - the Fantasy Channel.

Portland Compliance denied that the breaches were deliberate and suggested that the complaint had originated from a commercial competitor as opposed to members of the viewing public, who would have paid for the service. It also said that although the breaches shared some characteristics with earlier ones, they were not simply repetitions.

The company has admitted the code breach, stating: "Regrettably, the programme contained such footage." They also said they would "eradicate to the fullest extent possible the risk of any similar further compliance lapse".

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