Local News

Time Warner apologizes for Playboy-kids channel glitch

Posted March 16, 2010

Time Warner Cable accidentally had Playboy TV on On Demand channels targeted at kids early Tuesday.

— Time Warner Cable officials apologized Tuesday after they mistakenly showed Playboy preview programming on two children's channels.

TWC spokesman Keith Poston, said, “Basically, we had a piece of equipment fail and what happened is some previews for the Playboy Channel actually got diverted into the preview box on our Kids on Demand (Ch. 252) and our PreSchool On Demand (Ch. 555).”

Time Warner apologizes for porn mix-up Time Warner apologizes for porn mix-up

While the menu of available children's programming was listed on the left side of the screen, previews showing nude women engaged in explicit conversations played in the upper right corner where previews of children's shows normally would appear.

Poston said the explicit content aired from about 6:15 to 8:15 a.m. in parts of Cary, Garner, Morrisville, Wilson, Goldsboro, Willow Spring and Johnston County.

“It took about an hour or so once we were notified of the problem to actually get it fixed,” Poston said. “It was a technical glitch and unfortunately it hit at the worst possible time on the worst possible channels."

As engineers worked to identify the root of the problem, they found pockets of affected homes in communities scattered across the service area. “We would find places where it wasn't, but then it would still be there in another,” he said.

A system designed to monitor content and avoid such cross-pollination missed the glitch. Monitor screens, and the affected channels in most TWC homes, showed only black, Poston said.

It was unclear how many people saw the programming.

“It was a small number of customers,” Poston said, “But one's too many!"

"We're very, very sorry it happened. We know parents are concerned. I have a 9-year-old. I'm a dad. I'd be concerned too," Poston said. "It was a technical malfunction that caused the wrong previews to be shown on our kids on-demand channels."

Poston pointed out that even Time Warner’s robust parental controls would not have blocked the images from viewers who happened upon them Tuesday morning.

“You can block all sorts of programming whether it's adult programming, or by rating,” Poston said.

“But, something like this, where we have programming fed into a preview window that wasn't supposed to be there, the parental controls wouldn't have caught it. “It's not like an image filter like some Internet services provide. We should have caught it and we didn't.”


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  • NCSU2311 Mar 17, 2010

    Why are Americans so obsessed with hiding the human body and sex? You wonder why your kids turn out to be s. l. u. t. s. The curiosity kills them.

  • Nikka Mar 17, 2010

    Pure awesome, I wonder when the crybabies are gonna start filing their lawsuits?

  • sunneyone Mar 17, 2010

    Sexualization of children happens every day if they just watch advertising. Etrade's milkaholic commercial is one example. Yes it was inappropriate, but I don't think it is the end of the world.

  • JennyT Mar 17, 2010

    TWC = Tiger Woods Cable!

    "Really Elin, I was trying to put on a kid's program...."

  • amandacrn Mar 17, 2010

    You people kill me. The spokesman of Time Warner himself said he would be concerned if his 9-year-old saw this, and you don't think we should be concerned. Well, maybe porn shouldn't be on Time Warner to begin with if even parental controls wouldn't have caught it. Good thing I don't have that mess coming in my house. And Europeans not affected by it? Give me a break. How naive.

  • geosol Mar 16, 2010


    Only, of course, if its something that the right wing nuts find offensive.

  • leo-nc Mar 16, 2010

    "Seriously, an apology? I'm thankful we don't have Time Warner. I would be absolutely livid if my kids had seen this."---

    ...and you'd have to call the Whambulance

  • balog Mar 16, 2010

    liatmus, geeze, lighten up. Sex is a very natural thing and while people do not openly have sex in the middle of their house in front of their kids, it is perfectly normal for them to walk in on you and not going to scar them for life. This kind of thinking is what a life lived in the confines of a church will do to you. Why is sex such a taboo and forbidden subject?

  • liatnus Mar 16, 2010

    The problem is not (so much) the naked human form (although I don't believe that is appropriate for children either) but rather the nudity accompanied by inappropriate language/discussion of sexual material. Small children should not see/hear that smut. Some have commented that children see this kind of thing in their own home. For example, they see no problem in walking around naked in front of their own children and having sex where children can easily walk in. To me, this is disgusting and perverse as well. Not everyone behaves like an animal - try some self restraint.

  • NorthofNorthRaleigh Mar 16, 2010

    I always miss the good stuff! How funny! Its like that story of the teacher making copies and handing out a porno of herself to her students thinking it was the "end of the year" class video of the students. haha