Tue, Jun 28, 2005 - Page 3 News List

GIO denies BCC a license, upping pressure on KMT

RADIO POLITICS The office turned down an application from BCC, saying the KMT needs to first sell its shares in the venerable broadcaster

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Government Information Office (GIO) yesterday declined an application by the Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) for a digital broadcasting license, to force the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to sell its shares in the Chinese-language radio station, one of the oldest in the country.

"We hope that the process of political parties withdrawing their financial interests from certain media outlets will be speeded up," GIO Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said.

"We do not hope the same problem will arise after we issue new licenses to these companies in the future," he said.

Yao held a press conference to announce the GIO's decision yesterday morning.

According to Yao, the BCC is currently applying for a license for a nation-wide digital radio broadcasting system, and has been recognized as the No. 3 candidate on the qualified radio station list.

However, he asked his fellow GIO officials not to issue the license to the BCC until the KMT completely sells its shares in the radio station.

The BCC has made public its unhappiness with the GIO's rejection of its application, but the complaints did not change the media regulator's decision.

"We decided not to issue the license to the BCC but we did not say we will never approve their application. There is no reason for them to panic," Yao said.

Yao said that the GIO is not singling out the BCC or discriminating against it, but that the regulatory body is simply putting pressure on the company to rid itself of its connection to political parties.

"If we were discriminating against the BCC we would be rejecting every application they submit, but this isn't the case," Yao said.

Digital radio broadcasting is the latest technology employed by the company.

With the application of computer-based technology in broadcasting, programmers can supply their signals to consumers in a digital form, encoding the information into a series of 0s and 1s.

Digitization of radio signals provides CD-quality sound and crisp visual images.

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