Momo Kids TV was fined NT$600,000 (US$20,026) yesterday for airing cartoons containing content deemed inappropriate for children.
Last year, the National Communications Commission (NCC) received dozens of complaints from parents when the children’s channel broadcast an episode of the Japanese cartoon School Rumble (校園迷糊大王) depicting high-school students watching a pornographic movie together. They also complained that the episode contained a scene of jiggling breasts and showed actors moaning in pornographic movies.
The commission had decided to forward the recorded material from the controversial episode to an independent content review committee, formed by experts not -affiliated with the commission.
NCC communication content department director Jason Ho (何吉森) said 18 experts attending the review meeting earlier this month unanimously agreed that the channel had committed a very serious violation. They ruled it had infringed Item 2, Article 17 of the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法), in which domestic and foreign satellite broadcasting businesses are banned from airing content that would “impair the physical or mental health of children or juveniles.”
NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said the committee members disapproved of the channel’s content, adding that the channel’s license could be revoked if it failed to improve.
“Committee members said that the channel’s programs target -preschoolers and school children, but the cartoon violated the general rating requirement,” the NCC said in a statement.
Apart from Momo, eight other channels and two other telecoms carriers were fined by the NCC ahead of the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday. The fines, including that for Momo, totaled NT$5.4 million.
SET TV News, CTi TV News and ETTV News were fined NT$300,000, NT$800,000 and NT$600,000 respectively for failing to distinguish between a television program and an advertisement, violating Article 19 of the Satellite Broadcasting Act. The three news channels were found to have interviewed salespeople as well as the chairman of a specific construction firm or feature projects launched by the firm.
SET and ETTV also aired -commercials for the construction firm immediately after they ran the news story.
“Each channel was fined differently based on the severity of the violations in the cases discussed and past records of violation,” Ho said.
SET TV News was also penalized NT$200,000 for its coverage of a story on how a nine-year-old girl posted an article on a Web site seeking cash for sex.
While the anchorperson reported the news, the production team ran an animated image of a woman performing oral sex in the background.
Star Movies, Channel V and three other channels on Chunghwa Telecom’s multimedia-on-demand (MOD) system were fined for airing content containing excessive violence or sexual abuse.