SBS guilty of classification breach

25 February, 2008 by IF

SBS accepts ACMA’s determination released today that there was a classification error relating to the UK documentary Obscene Machines screened on SBS television on 13 April 2007.

As a result of the error SBS breached its Codes of Practice 2006 relating to television classification.


SBS Director of Content, Matt Campbell, said:

‘SBS takes its classification responsibilities very seriously. This information enables our audiences to make informed decisions about whether programs are appropriate viewing for them and their families.

‘The SBS system of television classification is based on the guidelines produced by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. ACMA’s determination will help inform future classification decisions made by SBS.’

The Obscene Machines documentary was shown during SBS’s late-night documentary slot on Fridays from 10pm, which is dedicated to informative and entertaining documentaries for mature adults.

SBS endeavours to provide comprehensive consumer advice prior to the start of a program to enable viewers to make their own decisions about whether the material is suitable for them.

SBS also acknowledges in its Codes of Practice that some of SBS’s programming can be controversial and provocative and may, at times, be distasteful or offensive to some. 

‘Warnings were broadcast informing consumers that the documentary contained sex scenes, nudity and coarse language and that the program contained sexual references of a medical, scientific or educational nature,’ Matt Campbell said.

Obscene Machines has previously been broadcast on free-to-air television in both the UK and the Netherlands as well as on pay-TV in Italy and France. The documentary had also previously screened on SBS television.

[release from SBS]