The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved license renewal applications filed by five satellite television channels on the condition that they do not violate Article 19 of the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) — which regulates the broadcasts of infomercials — within a year of the renewals.
Officials said the ruling means the new licenses would be canceled if it were determined that the five channels violated infomercial broadcasting regulations. The channels are Super TV (超視), JET TV (JET綜合台), Hollywood Movie Channel (好萊塢電影台), ETTV (東森綜合台) and Much TV.
Their current operating licenses expire next month.
NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said that four of the five channels had accumulated more than NT$20 million (US$693,000) in penalties in the past six years.
JET TV topped the list with fines totaling NT$24.7 million. It was followed by Super TV, Much TV and ETTV, which accumulated fines of NT$23.1 million, NT$21.8 million and NT$21.65 million respectively. Hollywood had NT$17.85 million in fines.
The majority of violations were because of infomercials, Chen said. Jet TV, for example, accumulated 41 violations in the past six years, 32 of which were the result of failing to distinguish between regular programs and advertisements.
Chen said seven commissioners spent nine hours yesterday reviewing the license renewal applications. They also questioned the channels’ managers. In addition, the channels’ operators had all promised to obey regulations governing the broadcasting of infomercials.
Some also promised to raise the percentage of programming for children after their licenses were renewed.
“Nearly all the television channels have stopped airing infomercials,” Chen said. “The approval and subsequent conditions serve as a promise between the channel operators and the audience.”
Chen said the ruling was consistent with rulings given to ERA TV (年代綜合台) and Top TV (高點綜合台) upon their license renewals. ERA and Top TV were also found to be repeat violators of Article 19 of the Satellite Broadcasting Act, with accumulated penalties of NT$17.25 million and NT$19.20 million respectively.
The commission pulled the plug on ERA TV on Jan. 1 for failing to obey the law.
Although ERA’s accumulated penalties were less than those of the five channels approved yesterday, the commission said it had violated the stated article five times after it secured a conditional pass, adding that the frequency of violations had gradually increased.
The five channel operators approved yesterday had gradually reduced their violations, it said.
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