U.K. Media Regulator Fines NBCUniversal's E! for Playboy Show
Ofcom fines the channel $65,000 for airing "Girls of the Playboy Mansion" at times when kids were likely to watch.
LONDON -- E! Entertainment U.K. is £40,000 ($65,000) out of pocket after being fined by the media watchdog OFCOM for airing Girls of the Playboy Mansion at an inappropriate time.
The penalty fine follows an Ofcom ruling published April this year relating to the broadcast of consecutive episodes of Girls of the Playboy Mansion at various times during the day on Dec. 27 2011.
The content of these episodes included material deemed unsuitable for for broadcasts before the U.K.'s so-called "watershed" time of 9 p.m., before which adult material cannot air.
While the U.K. has a 9 p.m. time before which adult material cannot be broadcast, Ofcom found the episodes were broadcast during the Christmas holiday period, when it "was likely that children – some unaccompanied by an adult - would have been watching."
The broadcast breached Ofcom's rule that children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
Before the broadcast on Dec. 27, E! had also previously been found in breach for two programs, which were also unsuitable for broadcast before the watershed because the nature of the content and because the most offensive language was broadcast.
Ofcom decided that the code breach was "serious and repeated and therefore a financial penalty should be imposed."
The penalty is payable to the government