Thu, Dec 23, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Channel loses its license for violation of NCC conditions

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday revoked the broadcasting license of ERA TV’s variety channel (年代綜合台) for violating conditions set when its license was renewed in February. It was the first time the commission has revoked a satellite TV channel license since its creation in 2006.

Commission spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said ERA TV’s operating license was issued on Feb. 27, 2004, and expired on Feb. 26.

“The commission knew the channel had 49 recorded violations in the past six years, with penalties totaling NT$16.75 million [US$540,000],” Chen said. “Although the commission granted the renewal, there were two conditions.”

The first was that the channel’s content must abide by Articles 17 and 19 of the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) — which in general terms regulate content and hidden advertisements respectively — for a period of a year following renewal. The second stipulated that program reruns could not exceed 60 percent of daily content.

The channel had three violations since February, Chen said.

The most serious was in June, when the channel was fined NT$1 million for failing to distinguish between regular programs and commercials, thus violating Article 19 of the act.

“The commission sent an official notice in July, which informed the channel it had violated the conditions for its license renewal,” Chen said.

The channel was also fined NT$2.1 million as it continued to operate after its operational license became invalid in July.

The commission said the channel had appealed to the Executive Yuan regarding the conditions that came with the license renewal. The latter chose not to review the case.

Kao Fu-yao (高福堯), director of the commission’s legal affairs department, said the channel had sought remedies by filing lawsuits against the commission, which are now with the Taipei High Administrative Court.

Citing the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法), Kao said the legal action did not prevent the authorities from issuing the ruling.

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