British regulator Ofcom has imposed a £125,000 fine on a channel founded by Nigerian megachurch pastor Chris Oyakhilome for airing “harmful” claims about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The broadcasting regulator took action against Loveworld Limited due to its 29-hour programme, entitled ‘Global Day of Prayer’ on its channel.
The lengthy broadcast, which started on Friday and ran into Saturday, was a religious programme and incorporated sermons, hymns, prayers and scripture readings.
During the programme, there were statements broadcast that described the Covid-19 pandemic as a “planned” event, which was claimed to have been planned by the “deep state”.
The Covid-19 vaccines were described as “sinister” and were said to be being used to control recipients through the use of “nanochips”.
“Ofcom has imposed a financial penalty of £125,000 on Loveworld Limited after a programme broadcast on its religious service Loveworld Television Network featured inaccurate and potentially harmful claims about the coronavirus without providing adequate protection for viewers,” the regulator said in an official statement on its website.
“This was the second time in a year that the broadcaster breached our rules on accuracy in news, and harm in its coverage of the Coronavirus.”
This fine from Ofcom followed a previous notice to the network in January about its broadcast. Last year, Ofcom imposed sanctions against the channel for airing “unsubstantiated claims” linking 5G to the pandemic.
“Ofcom considered these breaches to be serious, repeated and reckless, warranting the imposition of a statutory sanction beyond the direction to broadcast a statement of our findings that Ofcom issued in its Decision published 15 January 2021,” the broadcaster said.