U.K. Media Regulator Revokes License of Religious TV Channel Praise TV

ofcom - H 2012

Ofcom expressed doubts that the TV license holder was not really in control of the programs aired on the network.

LONDON -- U.K. media regulator Ofcom has revoked the license of religious TV network Praise TV, citing false information provided by license holder Destiny Broadcasting Network Europe.

Ofcom started probing the network amid doubts that the license holder was not really in control of the programs aired on the channel.

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"In the course of the correspondence with Ofcom, statements made by Destiny Broadcasting Network Europe Limited about the operation of the licensed service failed to satisfy Ofcom that the licensee had general control over which programs and other services were comprised in the licensed service," Ofcom said Tuesday. "Ofcom therefore concluded that Destiny Broadcasting Network Europe Limited had ceased to provide the licensed service."

Praise TV has in the past drawn criticism with controversial content, such as programs that promised to cure viewers with serious illnesses via prayers -- as long as people donated money.

Praise TV also features Gilbert Deya, a controversial self-proclaimed evangelical bishop from Kenya who used to practice in London.

According to past reports, he has claimed to have enabled infertile women to have "miracle babies." According to the Guardian, he has also had to face accusations of child abduction.

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Deya was deported from Britain in Sept. 2011 and extradited to Kenya.

The regulator said that the firm submitted information that turned out to be "false" or "withheld any material information with the intention of causing Ofcom to be misled."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai