The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved a license renewal application from the drama channel operated by Gala Television (GTV) on the condition that it reduce the percentage of South Korean dramas in its programming.
Starting in June, GTV’s drama channel will have to dedicate at least one hour between 6pm and midnight on weekdays to airing dramas that were not produced in South Korea, making it the first drama channel in Taiwan required to do so.
The channel was asked to adjust its prime-time programming because TV viewership is high during those hours and audiences are more likely to notice the difference, the commission said.
Furthermore, the number of hours for non-South Korean dramas should be increased from at least one hour to two hours, with the average number of hours for non-South Korean dramas set at 1.5 hours a day, the commission said. The overall percentage for domestic programs aired by the channel must not be less than 20 percent, it said.
From now until May 31, the percentage of domestic programming must not be less than 12.5 percent.
“The commission handles each license renewal application with fairness,” NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said. “All channels will be asked to voluntarily commit to increasing the quality of their programming, including diversifying their program sources, lowering program rerun rates and programs from a specific country and increasing the percentage of programs for children and teenagers.”
The commission said those commitments would be part of the channel’s operational plans, which would also be used as standards to review the channel’s performance in its biennial evaluation.
In related news, the commission said it would seek to determine whether Chinese Television System (CTS) had acted in a discriminatory way toward People First Party presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) after the station failed to air his press conference after the three presidential candidates made policy presentations on Friday.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) had entrusted CTS with broadcasting the entire presentation, after which the presidential candidates held press conferences.
However, the channel only aired the press conferences of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
The move drew anger from Soong’s supporters.
In a statement, CTS said covering interviews with the three candidates following their presentations was not included in the contract with the CEC, but it voluntarily shared footage of the interviews with other TV stations.
It said it had applied to broadcast the presentations from the presidential candidates from 8pm until 10pm and did not deliberately omit Soong’s interview, it said.
“The station is obliged to broadcast the information of all three presidential candidates in a fair, just and objective manner,” Chen said. “CTS should ensure that each candidate receives equal airtime.”