Italy bans TV soft porn

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ROME -- Italy's Ministry of Communications on Friday issued a decree outlawing soft-core pornography programming and advertisements on late-night terrestrial television.

Soft-porn ads linked to for-pay chat lines and Web sites along with the programming that exists to host those ads are a mainstay of some regional Italian television networks. The current law allows the programs to air after midnight but the new decree will put a stop to that beginning in April.

Such programming will remain legal on satellite networks, as viewers are required to opt in to receiving the signal.

In a statement, the ministry said it made the change in order to "guarantee Italian television suitable for entire families."

It is estimated that at least 15 regional broadcasters will be affected by the decree.

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