Zing & Star Gold rapped by Ofcom for movies

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


ZEE Network’s lifestyle and entertainment channel, Zing and Star Network’s movie channel, Star Gold have both been rapped by Ofcom for telecasting “inappropriate” movies during their daytime schedules.

Zing telecast ‘Page 3’ in January, which was deemed inappropriate for the afternoon slot, as it portrayed people successfully avoiding prosecution for sexual offences against children. On viewing the film, Ofcom also noticed there were various scenes of drug taking, including smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine.

ZEE Network said The broadcaster said it had two versions of this film for transmission: a post-watershed and an edited pre-watershed version. Due to an error with labeling on the tapes, the wrong version (i.e. the post-watershed version) was broadcast at 13:00.

Similarly, on Star Gold, ‘Deewar: Men Of Power’ was shown at 18:00 in early-January. Ofcom received one complaint from a viewer who considered the violent nature of the film meant that it was not suitable for a pre-watershed broadcast.

Star Network said the film “was scheduled in the wrong slot” by a “new inexperienced operator”. It added that unfortunately the mistake was not spotted before the film was transmitted. The broadcaster apologised for this “human error” and said that to avoid any recurrence of this problem it has set up refresher training on compliance issues for its scheduling, editing and transmission staff.

On both accounts, Ofcom said that extra care needs to be taken by programme controllers when scheduling such movies. Ofcom noted both Licensee’s acknowledgements of the error and Star’s retraining programme for relevant members of staff to minimise the likelihood of recurrence of this compliance problem.