STV2 and FreeSports fall foul of Ofcom

Scottish channel STV2 and free-to-air sports channel FreeSports have been found in breach of Ofcom rules.

STV2 was caught out dropping an F-bomb shortly before midday on 30th December 2017, when the post-watershed version of the programme "Fast Freddie, the Widow and Me" was broadcast by accident, including the "most offensive" F-word. In its submission to Ofcom, STV said the operator on duty had been unable to locate the programme in the media library. STV explained that "due to time pressures ahead of the Christmas period the operator did not request redelivery of the correct version of the programme but rather manually searched the STV production library".

Despite STV's reassurance, Ofcom ruled the channel in breach of Rule 1.14 of the broadcasting code.

Meanwhile, Free-to-air sports channel FreeSports was found guilty of exceeding limits on how many adverts it can show in any given hour. Between 23rd November 2017 and 1st January 2018, Ofcom identified over 20 instances on FreeSports where the amount of advertising in a clock hour appeared to exceed the permitted allowance.

After it raised the issue with FreeSports, Ofcom said it became "concerned" that the broadcaster's response suggested that it was not aware of the volume of advertising it was transmitting until notified by Ofcom. In a stern warning, the regulator today said "We remind FreeSports that it is its responsibility to have adequate systems in place to ensure that the advertising it transmits complies with the rules."

Ofcom says it will continue to monitor the channel's output with regards to rules on advertising minutage.

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