Nation limits entertainment programs

Updated: 2011-10-26 08:22

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - China's television watchdog has capped the amount of entertainment programs, including reality TV shows, that satellite channels can broadcast.

From Jan 1, next year, each of the country's 34 satellite channels will be limited to two such programs each week, said a statement issued on Tuesday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Under the new directive, a channel can also broadcast a maximum of 90 minutes of content defined as entertainment every day during the prime time hours of 7:30 pm to 10 pm.

The decision is the latest move to curb TV shows of "excessive entertainment" and "low taste", the statement said. Included in this are some matchmaker programs, talent contests, talk shows and reality shows.

The watchdog will also control the total number of entertainment shows nationwide. During prime time every day, the 34 channels can show only nine entertainment programs in total, the statement said, adding that channels should increase the number of news programs, educational programs and documentaries.

When all the new rules come into effect, channels will be required to broadcast at least two hours of news programs between 6 am and midnight. Between 6 pm and 11:30 pm, they must each broadcast at least two 30-minute news programs.

Each channel has been ordered to create a program that promotes traditional virtues and socialist core values.

Channels have been forbidden from taking decisions purely based on audience viewing figures, and directed to place greater emphasis on social values.

SARFT has asked them to set up a comprehensive system to assess both social effect and economic value.

According to the statement, SARFT has asked its provincial branches to set up special teams to supervise satellite channels so they meet the new requirements.