Thu, Oct 04, 2012 - Page 4 News List

NCC rejects proposal for temporary media rules

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday it was unlikely to stipulate temporary rules to regulate cross-media ownership, because any rule must be based on the authority of existing media laws.

NCC Chairperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) said last week that the commission was aiming to stipulate a special chapter on cross-media ownership in its second amendment of the media laws, which is scheduled for completion in 2014.

However, media experts said the commission’s proposed amendment would not help it deal with immediate problems and decided to propose their version of temporary rules for the commission to consider. The commission rejected the idea.

“We must have the authority of the media laws to stipulate temporary rules, but we do not have such a law [regulating media monopolization] at the moment,” NCC spokesperson Wei Shyue-win (魏學文) said.

Meanwhile, the commission said it had yet to receive an application for a change of board directors and supervisors from Next Television. However, it said it would apply due diligence in examining the case by gauging how the transaction would affect broadcasting and regulate it accordingly.

The TV network announced on Monday that it had been sold to ERA TV chairman Lien Tai-sheng (練台生). The change of ownership still required approval by the NCC.

A preliminary investigation from the NCC showed that Lien owned three cable TV services in the east and has about 96,000 service subscribers, which accounts for 1.9 percent of the market. He also serves as an agent for 18 channels. The addition of three more channels from the Next TV network, including its news, movie and information channels, would give Lien control over 21 channels.

Under Article 42 of the Cable Radio and Television Act (有線廣播電視法), programs provided by system operators and their affiliated enterprises must not exceed 25 percent of the usable channels. NCC Communication Management Director Huang Chin-yi (黃金益) said that 55 percent of Next TV’s funding was from Taiwan and 45 percent from overseas.

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