Thu, Jan 24, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Title sponsorship limitations raised for foreign shows

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Foreign-produced TV programs will not be allowed to accept title sponsorship if they are aired between 7pm and 11pm, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday, adding that the policy aims to support the development of the local TV and film industries.

Title sponsorship allows the names of advertisers or their products to be added to the titles of programs.

The commission currently bars foreign-produced shows from receiving title sponsorships if they are broadcast between 8pm and 10pm, which is usually considered prime-time television.

The Regulations for the Distinction between Television Programs and Advertisements, Product Placement Marketing, and Sponsorship (廣播電視置入性行銷及贊助辦法) and the Television Programs Classification Handling Regulations (電視節目分級處理辦法) have been in place for two years, the commission said, adding that it evaluated the effectiveness of the regulations and amended them after studying the latest developments in the local and international broadcasting industries, as well as responses from audiences.

Channel operators and advertisers would have a six-month grace period to adjust to the regulations, the commission said.

Title sponsors’ logos must not be bigger than the channels’ logos, it added.

Although children’s programs remain off-limits for title sponsors, the commission said that it would no longer limit their sources of funding to non-profit organizations or educational foundations, due to the shortage of resources and personnel that they face.

After reviewing practices in the UK, France, South Korea and Singapore, the commission said that it would allow commercial sponsors to fund children’s programs, provided that they are not involved in their production.

The amendment would also relax the regulations governing the distinctions between TV programs and commercials.

Currently, if a channel intends to run a commercial after a program that contains people or products related to the advertiser, it needs to run a different commercial first to separate the program and the commercial.

The amendment would free channel operators from the obligation to do so, as long as the program’s theatrical properties or settings, as well as any gifts in the program, are not related to the content of the commercial, the commission said.

Channels would also be prohibited from accepting title sponsorships by political parties, political candidates or advocates of bills to be voted on in a referendum, it added.

In addition, a channel would not be obliged to give its programs a “G” rating for general audiences if it only broadcasts “G” rated programs, the commission said.

The amendment would take effect after the commission confirms the minutes of the commissioners’ meeting next week and complete the legal procedures, it added.

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