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After 20 Years Softcore Off Dutch TV

AMSTERDAM – Following the lead of commercial television broadcaster SBS, competitor RTL 5 will also abandon its “erotica” programmes, signalling the end to the soft porn era on Dutch free-to-air TV.

Programme manager Jaap Hofman said RTL will finish its current series of Sex Court, Latin Lover and Van Lichte Zeden (Of Easy Morals), but will not purchase the rights to new sex material.

He said the station still has enough erotica on the bottom shelf to continue broadcasting for a short while next year, but when the current supply has been used, its soft porn broadcasts will officially come to an end.

“Sex on TV has had its best days. We just don’t need it anymore,” Hofman said.

The move represents an end to almost 20 years of soft porn on Dutch TV. Viewers in the Netherlands have for years en masse watched programmes such as Pin Up Club, Seks voor de Büch, Adult tv, De Wallen op Stap, 7 lives exposed, Vegas Nights, Webcam Girls, Erotic Dreams and Hollywood Sex.

Alternative broadcaster Veronica was also often associated with sex programmes, but fused operations earlier this year with SBS – partly owned by newspaper De Telegraaf – and promptly dumped its menu of soft porn.

The decision by RTL- part of the Holland Media Groep (HMG) – to do the same is linked with the arrival several months of new chief Fons van Westerloo, who is also credited with scrapping sex from the SBS network – his previous employer. Van Westerloo said his action was based on economic, rather than prudish or moral grounds.

SBS 6 – together with the RTL broadcasters in Germany – used sex to win viewers, but after achieving success their advertisers later said they did not wish to be associated with moaning and groaning women in ridiculous poses.

Despite representing a small part of the network’s programming, sex shows often have a negative image, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad has reported.

But sex programmes still attract a large number of viewers. Sex Court, for example, attracts 300,000 on Monday nights, while Van Lichte Zeden claims 400,000 on Wednesdays. The erotic films, which are usually broadcast after midnight, also attract a huge audience.

Meanwhile, pay TV company Canal Plus – which broadcasts pornographic films in the evening – does not expect to profit from the disappearance of erotica from Dutch TV.

“People will not take out a subscription for EUR 30 per month just for sex,” a spokesman said. “The real enthusiasts will seek their refuge with special satellite channels.”
 

 

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