More than 30 adult channels on Astra targeting the German market face closure following the intervention of the Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM).
In many cases the ‘channels’, which feature slide shows of scantily clad women alongside premium telephone numbers, do not require a broadcast licence. Contracts run both with Astra and its subsidiary APS as well as third parties outside of Germany.
The commission, which takes responsibility for the protection of minors across Germany’s federal-based system, has been in discussion with the satellite operator on the issue for a number of months.
The two have agreed a voluntary scheme, under which Astra can maintain its neutrality and not be seen as interfering in the choice of channels transmitted over its system.
“Globalisation has meant that minors can access freely accessible content from parts of the world that have differing laws and values to Germany,” said KJM chairman Wolf-Dieter Ring. “The joint initiative with Astra is exemplary and is an important step that we welcome.”
Existing contracts will be allowed to expire and on renewal the channels will be required to encrypt their signals – effectively removing their advertising window.
Broadband TV News understands that the majority of contracts will expire by the end of 2011.