Jaw Shaw-kong’s (趙少康) plan to split the assets at Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) suffered a major setback when the National Communications Commission (NCC) rejected the firm’s application again yesterday.
Commission spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said Jaw and his associates purchased the station in 2006 and promised it would become a publicly traded firm within two years.
Jaw has yet to fulfill this promise, Chen said.
According to Chen, Jaw had said he wanted to focus on the radio station and had no intention of managing the properties he gained in the deal.
“The NCC conditionally approved the purchase in 2006 because it was then a company that had assets of more than NT$3 billion(US$97 million),” Chen said. “An asset management firm would reduce the BCC’s total assets to NT$250 million, making the situation very different from the one we agreed upon.”
“Given Jaw’s failure to deliver on his promise and the company’s pending property lawsuits with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the National Communication Commission members unanimously agreed to maintain the ruling we made last year and reject the company’s application to divide its assets,” Chen said.
Jaw had also promised he would return the two national radio networks after the commission assigned them to new radio operators. However, he has not done so because the commission has yet to host the bidding session for a new batch of radio licenses, Chen said.
Yesterday’s decision was seen as a major blow for Jaw.
In 2008, the BCC applied to issue new stocks and divide its assets by dividing the corporation into a radio company and an asset management company. In November last year, the commission approved the BCC’s application to issue new shares, but rejected its application to divide its assets
The BCC appealed the ruling to the Executive Yuan in December last year. In May, the Executive Yuan annulled the ruling and asked the commission to review the application again. The commission held a hearing in August and invited Jaw, media researchers and others to give their opinions.
The BCC purchase has a troubled history. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) sold the BCC to the China Times Group subsidiary Jungli Investment Co in 2005 for NT$9.3 billion. China Television Co and the Central Motion Picture Corp were included in the deal. However, the deal was later canceled after the China Times Group couldn’t pay the full amount.
In 2006, Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co, which is owned by the KMT, sold the BCC to Jaw.
In other developments, Azio TV was fined NT$1 million for violating the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) by failing to separate commercials from its regular programs.
Chen said the hosts of a cooking program on Azio had discussed the functions of cooking pots used in the program and told the audiences where they could purchase them.
“As they committed similar violations on 21 occasions in the past two years, the penalty will be heavier this time,” Chen said.
Meanwhile, Chen said the commission was planning to make provision of digital cable TV service mandatory by amending the Cable Television Act (有線廣播電視法). The government wants to boost the penetration rate of digital cable service from 7 percent to 50 percent by 2015.