Thu, Dec 30, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Channel off the air at midnight

END OF AN ERAERA TV increased its criticism of the communications commission, saying in an ad in a local newspaper that democracy had taken a step backward

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

ERA TV’s variety channel will be officially pulled from the nation’s cable TV system by midnight tonight, the National Communications Commission said yesterday.

Chen Kuo-lung (陳國龍), director of the commission’s business management department, said that on Monday all cable system operators had submitted their proposed replacements to fill the vacancy left by the channel.

Chen said the department had sent official notices to cable operators yesterday to inform them that the commission had approved their proposed replacements.

All cable operators are required to complete the switch to their new channels between 11:59:59pm today and 12am tomorrow, he said.

ERA TV intensified its criticism of the commission yesterday with a half-page advertisement in the Chinese-language China Times.

“The channel may not have tried hard enough, but it did not deserve the death penalty,” the ad said. “The commission revoked the licence for our variety channel and shut down its operation, which represents a step backward for democracy.”

ERA said the commission should follow a resolution proposed by the legislature’s Transportation Committee on Monday calling on it to withdraw the ruling and conduct a second review.

In response, the commission presented video clips from ERA’s variety channel as evidence of the channel’s repeated failure to distinguish between regular programs and advertisements, one of the reasons stated by the commission for revoking the licence.

“Let me ask you this: Are you watching programs or advertisements?” Chen asked reporters, pointing to the video clips.

Chen said the commission had completed an amendment to the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) that would clearly define and regulate embedded marketing in programs.

ERA’s variety channel was channel 45 on several cable operators, as well as channels 58, 78 and 108 on others.

For subscribers using the Taiwan Fixed Network and Kbro Co, channel 45 will now be Star World, which previously was only available on the digital TV cable service. For those with the digital TV cable service, the channel previously occupied by ERA’s variety channel will now be filled by NHK World.

For subscribers to CYC Cable and Kuo-Sheng Cable, the vacancy will be filled by the Creativity Channel, which is affiliated with SET TV.

The rest of the cable TV systems under the China Network System, Digitai TV and Taiwan Infrastructure Technology Co will replace ERA’s variety channel with Top TV’s entertainment channel, Chen said.

The Tayang, Hsin Yeong An and Penghu (澎湖) cable networks did not carry ERA’s variety channel and will therefore be unaffected by the change.

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