Fri, Sep 30, 2011 - Page 2 News List

MOD programs may be aired in public

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said that it planned to allow Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) to broadcast the programs aired on its multimedia-on-demand (MOD) system in hotels, hospitals and other public spaces to stimulate competition in the broadcasting industry.

NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chan (陳正倉) said that subscribers to the MOD system only accounted for about 12 percent of all households as of last month.

“Channel operators dare not launch their programs on MOD for fear of being boycotted by the cable service operators,” Chen said, when commenting on the problems facing the MOD system.

“Channels on the terrestrial television service are not must-carry channels on the MOD system either,” he added.

Chen said that the MOD system could not broadcast its programs in public because of issues regarding intellectual property rights, adding that it was not clear whether the system could feature advertising channels to increase its revenues.

Chen said the commission had proposed an amendment to the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) that would eliminate any barriers preventing fair competition, including stopping cable TV operators from preventing certain channels from being aired on the MOD system.

Meanwhile, Chen said that the commission would also agree that CHT amend its regulations governing operation of the MOD system, enabling the system to be broadcast in hotels, hospitals and other public places. Currently, MOD can only be broadcast in homes or other non-public places.

Wu Ming-ren (吳銘仁), a specialist at the NCC, said the commission had heard evidence from other telecoms operators on this matter, which was to be submitted to the commissioners for final review.

In related news, the NCC has amended its guidelines as to whether programs have violated regulations on the clear separation of commercial and regular programming.

Jason Ho (何吉森), director of the NCC’s communications content department, said the commission would review the programs’ names as well as the participants, props, settings and viewpoints presented to determine if they had violated the regulations.

Ho said cases would be reviewed in two categories: regular programs and specific programs. He said those in the latter category included news and children’s programs, adding that the commission would apply strict standards when examining these programs.

Ho said that some TV service operators pixellated logos or brands appearing in news stories, because they did not know what the regulations were.

“The guidelines will make it clear what they should or should not do,” Ho said.

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