back to article Ofcom slaps MTV with £255k fine

Ofcom has imposed fines totalling £255,000 on MTV Networks for various breaches of the Broadcasting Code on channels TMF, MTV France, MTV UK and MTV Hits. The network was charged with several infractions of the Code, viz: Rule 1.3: “Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    What a bunch of wankers...

    What soft cocks... As if people aren't aware of the nature of the content of TMF/MTV. If they don't want their kids watching it, put a child lock on the channel, problem solved!

  2. Julian

    MTV Censored!

    Well thats them f****d then!

  3. richard

    Amazing - Kids still watch MTV?

    hilarious, although if we have a watershed, it should be stuck to, 'fuck' & 'motherfuck' etc are a bit much before 9pm aren't they?

    although why do the bbc still bleep these words out on jonathan ross at 10.30?

  4. Bumhug
    Paris Hilton

    I am shocked!

    Not at the launguage, or the size of the fine. People actualy watch MTV these days?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    i remember when ...

    ... The Register used to report in IT stories....

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Watershed, what fucking water-fucking-shed

    Fuck me, what a load of fucking fuckbellied wankers, what's wrong with saying fuck all the time?

    Johnny (aged 7 1/2)

  7. Danny van der Weide

    Sensitive souls

    The Brittish have such sensitive souls, haven't they?

    Ok, i'm off... Mine's the one with the pink knickers hanging out of the inner pocket.

  8. Michael King
    Thumb Down


    4 people complained?

    OMG End of the world...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Fifteen times

    in one article. Keep up the good work!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    MTV completly fucked!

    mother fuckers got completly fucked over by the fucker that is ofcom.

    what a bunch of spunkbelly fucks.

    *Gets coat*

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Operating costs...

    Just the cost of doing business in the Blighty as far as MTV is concerned. F***, Double F****, Qudruple F****, Octuple F*** as long as it brings advertising revenue and promotion of music whose only merit is the gratuitous use of F***.

    So all in all, this is a pseudopenalty. It needs at least a zero at the end for the F*** at MT F***ing V to give a F***.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Fuck me

    Fucking hell some people are a bit fucking sad. Turning the fucking telly off if you don't like the fucking swearing.

  13. Paul Slater


    That'll fucking teach 'em...

  14. dervheid
    Black Helicopters


    a few minor vocal indescretions by a (fairly) minority TV channel warrants immediate action.


    allegations of mass illegal telecommunications interception by one of the worlds biggest telco's warrants immediate hand-wringing and procrastination all round.






    (but not surprising really)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ..So it is OKAY to use The N Word before the water shed. (provided it is two black people arguing in a car) So says OFCoM.

  16. Bronek Kozicki

    Just £ 255K ?

    This is f*ng ridiculous!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Ofcom notes: "Four viewers complained ...

    Why is it that when four viewers complain about something, OFCOM sits up and takes notice ... but when it comes to something IMPORTANT that the whole country objects to, like unnecessary use of 0870 and broadband suppliers misrepresenting their service as UNLIMITED when it isn't, OFCOM just sits back and does very little?

  18. Simon Painter

    Don't watch it...

    If you are offended by the F word then just don't watch shows aimed at yoof culture.

  19. John Imrie

    -ing MTV

    The sort of -ing idiots that MTV want to watch their -ing shows would think that any -ing sentence that doesn't contain the word - must have been said by some -ing poncey intellectual who wants his -ing head kicked in.

    John, aged -ing 6 (mentally)

  20. Benedict

    @ Aphex Twin

    Just to be a pedant, Aphex Twin is one man (Richard D James), not a band.

  21. Seán

    2 complaints

    Why does ofcom have the power to apply censorship based on noone actually giving a shit. Why are two complaints sufficient for this draconian bollocks, if they applied that criteria to the government or the cops we would all be quids in.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What a fine collection of filth for a dull thursday afternoon.

    Now can Ofcom please fine the channels into oblivion because of their constant assault on good taste and intelligence.

    *longs for the days when it was just music videos and Beavis & Butthead*

  23. Martin Lyne


    "...Totally Boyband. [...] featured extensive offensive language including 'fuck', 'shit', and 'bollocks'."

    I would expect a show called "Totally Boyband" to be positively brimming with shit and bollocks, it's clearly labelled.

  24. The Avangelist

    who fucking cares?

    see i said it, ive gone and done it now, how mature.

    I have always questioned the validity of watershed on paid for channels.

    And how come it has taken over two years to complete this investigation? Probably because nobody really cares except for M.Whitehouses descendants.

  25. Piotr
    Thumb Up

    Go Ofcom !


    Its really tiresome watching brain dead TV zombies using F words only. Let them learn. I also remember a time when MTV was actually fun and nice to watch, but it was so long ago...

  26. Aron A Aardvark

    MTV should be sued they haven't played any music in years.

  27. Rob Sked

    Totally Scott-Lee . . . .

    . . . people watched that and complained about the swearing? How about the fact that the show was dreadfully shite!! How many complained about that?!

    Bring back Tom Green humping a dead moose.

  28. Paul
    Paris Hilton


    Please can you tell us if there was a true journalistic motivation behind this article (some Ofcom link perhaps?), or was it just an opportunity to swear lots and lots?

  29. Red Bren

    And after the watershed?

    No adult content before the watershed? Fair enough, bleep* it out or don't broadcast it. But what really annoys me is the censoring that happens AFTER the watershed! When my favourite heavy metal band release a video containing nudity, profanity and violence, I expect to be able to watch it in all its satanic glory, after 9pm.

    * Is it just me or are the bleeps getting shorter? What used to be ********** is now just muthaf*cker

  30. Neil Alexander

    Nobody is forcing you

    ... to watch MTV or TMF. If the language offends you, my suggestion would be to turn it off or watch something else.

    What the hell is wrong with Britain today? Bloody nanny state.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    perhaps while they're at it

    they should restrict the content of the videos they show before the watershed too - semi-naked women, simulated sexual activity, bitch-ho's and crap like "cribs".

  32. Anonymous Coward


    how about some hefty fines for those 4 viewers for such a waste of ofcom time (who have better thing to do then listening to complains from peoples who have way to much time on their hands). it is like those poor (probably very religious) souls spend a lot of time watching TV just to find some stuff to complain about.

    Another good thing will be the publish the name of totally clueless clowns. So MTV viewers who will be subject to lower quality MTV because of censoring, will have the name of peoples who are responcible for it. (a good deterrent for clueless complainers will be the have them deal with the MAJORITY of peoples who have they MTV ruined because 0.000000000000000000000000001% of the viewers complained,.

    Democracy? Where?

  33. Chris C

    This is sad

    The maturity level displayed in the majority of these comments is truly saddening and pathetic. I am not offended by words. As George Carlin pointed out many years ago, they're just words, they can't be good or bad. It's the context and intent which is good or bad. Having said that, I find it sad that so many people can't compose a single sentence without some measure of profanity, usually some variation of the word "fuck". It used to be that the word was used for emphasis, such as "I don't fucking care" which tends to convey more emotion than simply "I don't care". Nowadays, the word has lost its power and is relegated to complete overuse to join "like" ("so, like, i said 'no way', and she was, like, 'yeah way', and i was like, who did you, like, hear that from?") and "you know" ("well, you know, I just didn't want to... uh, you know, do something wrong, you know? I just want to be left alone, you know?").

    As for MTV -- didn't they stop broadcasting music about 13 years ago? Or was it just non-rap, non-R&B that they stopped broadcasting?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps we should all write in and complain

    about the lack of good Anglo Saxon words before 21:00, it smacks of racism.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Aphex Twin... fucking fantastic! Still, I guess they should have gone with iz-us rather than windowlicker.

    Must be when they played it, the four fuckers who complained said, "OOoh, that's a nasty sound!"

    Also, Bucephalus Bouncing Ball is fucking great.

    Fucking thumbs up to Mr. James.

  36. Andy Worth

    "Ofcom reports"

    "4 people complained"

    "2 viewers complained"

    "a viewer complained"

    Is it me, or is it a very small minority of (probably the same) whining bastards who bother to complain, while the rest of us just quite simply couldn't give a fuck?

    Really, if you want to find a truly offensive program, complain about Eastenders. It offends me because it's fucking shit.

  37. Sampler



  38. Richard Scratcher

    @ Neil Alexander - "Nanny knows best!"

    Nobody is forcing you to live in this "bloody nanny state". If the idea of protecting kids from adult content offends you, my suggestion would be to live somewhere else.

  39. Xander
    IT Angle


    To paraphrase the Family Guy FCC:

    "When 1 person complains it means a billion people were offended. So 4 Billion people were offended by this"

    Although what this has to do with IT and quite why anyone is watching MTV still is beyond me...

  40. Andrew Barr

    Percentage of Viewers

    Perhaps that OFCOM actually use the percentage of total viewers who complain to decided if they are going to act.


    4 viewers = 100% of the viewers for that show = OFCOM have to act.

  41. John Band

    Err, do tell

    "If the idea of protecting kids from adult content offends you, my suggestion would be to live somewhere else."

    If you can find a place which isn't run by insane nannyists, where the powers that be understand that a kid hearing a particular four-letter, one-syllable word actually doesn't cause the slightest harm or make a blind bit of difference to anyone, then please feel free to list it.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Content is King

    Whatever the channel, profanity during the day is not necessary - sure, if your kids are watching MTV, don't be surprised if they grow up brain dead sex maniacs with the attention span of a gnat - but f'ing around during adverts in the middle of the day is just dumb. And the endless "you don't have to watch" brigade strike me as ex-MTV viewers who can't think beyond a knee jerk response - the whole point of any watershed is that it guarantees that you CAN watch beforehand without expecting swearing. However, you still have to listen to the crap music and simulated fucking on the videos......

  43. John
    Thumb Down

    Number of Complaints

    The level of stupidity displayed in this thread is far beyond the average for el reg. To begin with number of complaints isn't the reason they are fined, it is used as a reason for Ofcom to investigate said complaint and see if they breached broadcasting guidelines. People complain en masse for some programs, and Ofcoms ignores them because they havn't done anything technically wrong. There is no way for Ofcom to monitor all content broadcast, so this is the best available.

    Similary people tend not to complain at all, and so when even 4 do, that represents a sizable number, especially for something like mtv, and I doubt any 14 year olds will be doing the complaining. Compare to complaints for adverts, where the average number of complaints to get an advert pulled is 1.3 (I think).

    For the comments saying 'if it offends you, don't watch it' well this is utter nonce, by this stance all programs should broadcast whatever they want, and if it offends you turn over, nevermind the children watching.

  44. brimful

    @John Band

    Ooh ooh ooh - Antartica. Although it'll be pretty frigging (replaces the "f" word with a politer version of the "f" word) cold.

    Flame cos we need heat.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    'immigrants are going to fuck your mother'

    I presume that is a mistranslation of: immigrant motherfuckers!

    AC because that sentence could get me in trouble under this regime.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    @Andy Worth

    It's not the numbers that matter, it is the percentage, and those numbers look pretty close to 100% to me.

  47. Peyton


    MTV has had to bleep four-letter words over here in the States since its inception. Why would they have a hard time across the pond? Perhaps all the cursing was driving up ratings amongst the youngsters? Fortunately over here, that's accomplished by featuring a bunch of degenerate coeds on MTV's so-called "reality" shows. I certainly feel better knowing that while our kids' watch a bunch of oversexed 20-somethings act out their dysfunctional "relationships", they won't be exposed to any cursing - those words could really mess them up, right? O_o

  48. frymaster

    "if it offends you turn it over"

    OK, I'll invent a time machine and travel back in time to before the offensive words, because I couldn't know they were going to be there BECAUSE IT WAS BEFORE THE FUCKING WATERSHED AND THAT'S THE FUCKING POINT OF IT





    Agree 100% with the comment that if it's after the watershed, they shouldn't bloody bleep out the swearing. Especially for stuff like Eminem's Stan - the censored version of that is made for the american market, and blanks out all references to violence, leaving the vocal track pretty much non-existent...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "although why do the bbc still bleep these words out on jonathan ross at 10.30?"

    Because you can watch it anytime on iPlayer ?

    And because the Beeb holds itself to a higher standard than the junk channels?

  50. Rob Sked


    Beavis went heh-heh-heh-heh

    Butthead went huh-huh-huh-huh

    Get it right, butt-mucher.

  51. W


    For what it's worth, I probably agree with the general principles of the watershed. E.g. the principal that there's a time and a place for 18 cert films. And 9pm is where we've decided to draw a line.

    Admittedly, 4 people really doesn't seem like a lot, but why should their opinions be ignored? If it's sufficient enough for instigating an investigation, so be it.

    EXCEPT!... Swear words are a convenient scapegoat. They're quantative. Draw up a list of bad words and body parts and ban 'em on TV before a set time. But no-one has the guts to draw lines when it comes to making qualitative decisions. We're aiming at the wrong target.

    So something like "I BURIED MY ABORTED BABY IN THE GARDEN WITH A SPOON" (actual headline on the front of Bella, or whatever mag it was) is OK. On a coffee table, exposed to young kids who are unable to put the confusing, heavy duty (to a child) content it into it's proper context. There are tens of other examples - just on the same magazine shelf - every day. Words like rape, murder, abortion etc are cheapened and blunted in the name of reporting "Real Life" "True Stories", wheras alternative words for procreation, bodily functions, and the like are asterisked or bleeped out as if edited by giggling schoolkids.

    And The Sun (a "family paper") is OK to print tits aplenty every day, but they're not allowed on the telly before 9pm.

    Principle of protecting kids from "adult themes": Correct.

    Wholesale implementation: Critically flawed. As per pretty much everything else in the dysfunctional UK of A. Methinks 'continental Europe' might not be perfect, but it's often able to make value judgements without getting all kneejerk so as to be seen to be "doing something" (whilst actually avoiding the wider issue).

    Aside: "Paki bastard" could be heard on the STV early evening news the other day. Ostensibly in the name of reporting the news of a racist attack, but at 6pm, I'd have said it was a little unnecessary when "oral sex" or "masturbation" are invariably (cringingly) referred to as "a sex act".

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just a word

    anyway if kids are at risk of being stabbed then I'm sure we've got our priorities right if we think bleeping swear words will somehow protect them

    we need somebody like Lenny Bruce again to put things into perspective.

  53. brainwrong

    @Aphex Twin

    He's from Cornwall, you know.

  54. b166er

    Hmm Cornish acid

    My son is now 8. When he was about 4, he would repeat these words that he never heard from his parents, to see their reaction (none). Since about age 6, he will have a little snigger when he hears a sweary word, and then promptly get on with his life.

    When are OfCom gonna grow some proper fucking bollocks and whip these lying ISP cunts into shape? ;-p

    And when are they going to put a watershed on this tinternet thing? Honestly the wankfuck cuntbag language on hear is appalling before 9pm. Fucking arse-candles.

  55. danimal

    Oh, now I see. . .

    At first I thought that we were dealing with a small group of complainers, and then I realized, if 3 or 4 people at a time are calling in to complain about MTV. That's probably 100% of the viewership for such a program. MTV should change it's name to Ill-thought out and poorly executed "reailty" dating show television, but I guess that's too many letters.

  56. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    Don't ask me what the thumb's for ;o)

    So, Lisa Scott-Lee has been associated with the words "fuck", "fucked" and "fucking". Cool - way to go hunni.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do not read this before 9pm

    [Oh FuCk Offensive Material], as an association really should consider the wider implications ... looking like a bunch of f**kwits whilst claiming to protect the sensitive souls of this country (no, that's not a pathetic "think of the children" - comment, it's a total mind f**k "pander to the f**king assholes who have nothing better to do with their pathetic f**king lives but complain about the f**king language on a f**king "yoof" program that no f**ker in their right f**king mind will watch" - comment). Children swear, adults swear... I bet if you could translate dolphin they'd be saying, "why is there so much f**king human shit in this f**king water? I can't see f**k all... oh f**k it, I missed that f**king tuna".

    No icon - I'm too f**king angry.

  58. Jamie Kephalas

    Could you repeat that?


  59. Slaine

    I'm surprised all that made it to this fucking thread

    Feeling better everyone?

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