On 16 July, Ofcom has fined Discovery Communications Europe Ltd £100,000 for broadcasting unsuitable and violent material on TV before the watershed.
Under Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code, all licensees must protect children from unsuitable material by scheduling programmes appropriately. In addition, material that may cause offence must be justified by the context.
The Investigation Discovery channel broadcast several episodes of Deadly Women - a true-life crime series about female killers - before the 9.00 pm watershed. Ofcom ruled that the repeated broadcast in the daytime during the school holidays of very violent material - in the form of prolonged graphic and disturbing dramatic reconstructions of torture, mutilation and murder - resulted in serious breaches of the Broadcasting Code and warranted a statutory sanction.
The fine of £100,000 - whose amount was deemed justified by the serious and repeated nature of breaches - will be paid by Discovery Communications Europe Ltd to HM Paymaster General.