TV channel Bravo has been warned after an early morning show featured footage of a man being violently attacked.
TV watchdog Ofcom said it was the fourth time the channel had flouted broadcasting rules and warned it could face regulatory action if there are similar breaches.
The move follows a viewer complaint about scenes in the documentary series Cops on Camera, which was screened at 8am on a Saturday morning.
It showed CCTV footage of a violent and unprovoked attack on a man by a gang of youths.
Ofcom said the shots of violence were ‘brutal and sustained’ and were also repeated in slow motion.
It said they breached rules relating to protecting children from unsuitable material and also on the amount of violence that can be screened before the 9pm watershed.
Virgin Media, which operates Bravo, told the TV watchdog that as the channel was aimed at a predominantly male audience between the ages of 18 and 34, it did not attract a significant child audience.
It provided viewing figures suggesting that only 0.05 per cent of the children watching television during the hour when this show was broadcast were watching Bravo.
Virgin Media also argued that the CCTV footage was of poor quality and not presented in a graphic or sensationalist manner and so did not breach the watershed rule.
But Ofcom said the events were ‘quite clear and shocking’ and that it was unsuitable for broadcast on any unencrypted channel at 8am.