Cape Town - Afrikaans television channel kykNET was fined R20 000 for incorrectly classifying the age restriction of a short film, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) said on Monday.

A satellite TV subscriber had complained about being unable to block a short film called “Damduikers” that was shown at 6am on December 7.

Although the film was rated “16” on the screen, the DStv rating on the electronic parental guide was “family”. This prevented the viewer from blocking the broadcast and its crude language.

Multichoice, on behalf of DStv and Kyknet, conceded that human error caused the wrong information to be captured on the guide and apologised.

They submitted, however, that the correct age restriction was displayed on screen and the viewer was therefore able to decide whether the programme was suitable.

BCCSA tribunal chair Kobus van Rooyen said he was aware that managing the electronic parental guide was an “immense task”.

However, the viewer in the complaint had relied on this guide to operate automatically and the age restriction on screen would only have been relevant if the parents were present.

“The protection of children remains of cardinal importance,” he said.

Sapa