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IRIS 2005-10:8/13

Czech Republic

Financial Penalties for Broadcasting a TV Reality Show

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Jan Fučík

Broadcasting Council of the Czech Republic

The Broadcasting Council of the Czech Republic has fined the management of the channels NOVA and PRIMA around CZK 4 million and CZK 5 million respectively (approximately EUR 130,000 and EUR 160,000) for broadcasting the TV Reality Show Big Brother .

The broadcasting of the show infringed § 32 paragraph 2 g) of the Broadcasting Act, whereby programmes which are likely to adversely affect the physical, intellectual and emotional well-being of children or young people may not be broadcast between 06:00 h and 22:00 h in the evening.

These programmes may have a problematic effect on children and young people as well as an impact on society. The Broadcasting Council established that in several sequences of the programme there were infringements of provisions on youth protection in terms of adversely affecting development. Children and young people, in comparison to adults, are far less grounded in terms of their personality and value development and are dependent on examples and role-models. During such sequences, societal values such as respect and sympathy as well as regard for a person's integrity in their practical sense are undermined. If antisocial forms of behaviour are publicly cultivated, this may in the eyes of children and young people legitimise or reinforce existing trends of excluding and disparaging people.

The financial penalties imposed are not yet legally binding. The possibility of an appeal at the Administrative Court exists (and this is what will probably happen).

References
-
  Decision of the Broadcasting Council of the Czech Republic N° Rpo/109/02 and Rpo/110/05      
- CS
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=9847
 
  Broadcasting Council press release of 6 October 2005