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Ofcom spanks CNN over Skype promotion

Ofcom has once again warned broadcaster CNN that it breached UK TV rules banning the sponsorship of news programmes.

The regulator received a complaint over CNN's Connector of the Day, a seven-minute section in the outfit's Connect the World programme, which is broadcast in the UK on satellite and Freeview and sponsored by Skype.

A viewer was concerned that the segment included matters of current affairs and issues reported in the news and questioned whether it was appropriate for sponsorship.

Ofcom noted that, after a commercial break, a sponsorship credit was broadcast in which the voiceover stated: 'Connector of the Day is sponsored by Skype'.

The guest was Michael Steele, the Chairman of the US Republican National Committee who surprisingly enough went on to criticise President Barack Obama

CNN owner Turner Broadcasting told Ofcom: "The segment format of the ‘Connector of the Day’ is explicitly not a news and current affairs format, even though it sits in a current affairs show."

But Ofcom wasn't buying that: "A broadcaster’s editorial control over the content of its news and current affairs programming should not be, or appear to be, compromised…"

Ofcom said it has "significant concerns with Turner’s compliance with Rule 9.1 of the Code. In light of this, Ofcom is requiring the broadcaster to attend a meeting to discuss these concerns."

Further, "Ofcom is putting the licensee on notice that any further breaches of Rule 9.1 will be taken extremely seriously and in such circumstances Ofcom may consider further regulatory action."

CNN recently broke British broadcasting regulations when it screened a debate that looked like it was sponsored by YouTube, Ofcom ruled.