Sony MAX UK rapped for broadcasting ‘Aankhen’ outside watershed


Sony MAX has been rapped by media regulator, Ofcom for broadcasting ‘Aankhen’ (2002) in the afternoon slot.

The film, which was aired on 20th October at 16:45, landed into trouble after a viewer’s complaint. The scene in question revolved around suicide, which lasted for around one minute and was broadcast two hours and 40 minutes into the film at approximately 19:24. Neha shooting herself in the head was depicted in a mid-shot lasting approximately eight seconds. The scene also featured blood spraying from the victim and six shots of her open bullet wound in close succession, including two mid-close-ups shots of the wound.

Responding to the complaint, the broadcaster accepted that the programme was not suitable for pre-watershed transmission and told Ofcom that it was broadcast in error.

The Licensee said that having checked the website of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), it aired the film believing it had a Parental Guidance (PG) rating. It added that upon receiving the complaint, it realised that the video release of Aankhen was rated 12. The Licensee said that it regretted the error and has since taken the 12 rated version off air. As a result of this incident, the Licensee told Ofcom that it had “added an additional layer of evaluation” to ensure stricter scheduling and said it would be monitoring content broadcast on the channel.

Ofcom took into account the steps the Licensee said it had taken to prevent recurrences, including “an additional layer of evaluation” and “stricter processes”. However, Ofcom remains concerned that this material was broadcast before the watershed.

The broadcaster was found in breaches of Rules 1.11 and 2.5.

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