Ofcom sanctions Samaa TV for hate speech

Ofcom’s HQ

UK media regulator Ofcom has imposed financial penalties for breaches of its broadcasting rules on channels Samaa TV and Studio 66.

Samaa TV owner Up and Coming TV must pay £40,000 for breaches of the Broadcasting Code the channel, while Ofcom is also imposing a £15,000 financial penalty on 965 TV Limited, after its Studio 66 service broke the rules on TV advertising.

Ofcom found that two consecutive editions of Samaa TV’s Nadim Malik Live, a weekday Pakistani current affairs discussion programme, broadcast anti‑Ahmadi hate speech, and derogatory and abusive treatment of Ahmadi people.

Ofcom also found that statements in the first programme amounted to antisemitic hate speech, and derogatory and abusive treatment of Jewish people. The watchdog said that the content was not justified by the context.

Since August 2021, Samaa TV has been known as Neo News, as Up and Coming TV started using a different content provider for the service from that date. However, Ofcom said that its decision to impose a financial penalty reflects that licensees are responsible for the content they broadcast.

In relation to Studio 66, Ofcom’s investigation found that five separate advertising broadcasts featured sexually explicit language and behaviour, which were capable of causing offence and had the potential to harm or distress children.

Tags: Ofcom, UK

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