Cable operators will not be allowed to offer cheap subscription packages by leaving out news channels or popular TV channels from their channel lineup, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said.
By law, cable operators must have their proposed subscription fees approved by either the commission or local governments every year before they implement the new prices, even if they keep the fees unchanged.
The commission is reviewing subscription fees proposed by seven cable operators in four cities and counties, it said.
The commission said it has been encouraging cable operators to replace their flat-rate schemes with a tiered scheme, adding that four of the cable operators have adopted the tiered system, offering plans costing from NT$188 to NT$600 per month.
The flat-rate scheme requires all subscribers to pay the same fee to access all channels available in a cable system, whereas the tiered scheme gives subscribers the option to choose the channels they prefer by offering them different combinations of channels and setting different fees for each combination, the commission said.
“However, we have found that some of the proposed plans do not match the viewing habits of subscribers in their respective service areas and the fees they have set for the plans do not accurately reflect the value of the channels included in the plans. We have asked them [the cable operators] to provide reasonable explanations for the discrepancies,” the commission said in a statement.
Plans that cost NT$200 to NT$400 per month are particularly problematic, commission spokesperson Weng Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
“The channels included in those packages are must-carry channels [terrestrial TV channels], shopping channels and some other less popular channels. None of the channels that most people like to watch, such as news, variety shows and movie channels, are included,” Weng said.
“We have asked [the cable operators] whether the channels in those packages command the prices that they have set for them. If we simply approve the prices without scrutinizing them, it would defeat the purpose of encouraging cable operators to adopt the tiered scheme, which is aimed at giving subscribers a say on the channels they want to watch and protect their right to access content,” he said.
The commission would also examine the costs that cable systems must pay to see if they have set reasonable prices for each package, including the authorization fees that they have to pay to content providers and the cost of maintaining the installed cables, Weng said.
The commission had previously proposed a formula for cable operators to design various packages.
Apart from 13 must-carry channels, each package must contain 10 channels from five categories: news, children and youth, TV drama, movie and educational channels.
Cable system operators, on the other hand, may add a certain number of channels to each package, according to the formula.
The Satellite Television Broadcasting Association called for more transparency in the government’s proposed implementation of the tiered scheme, saying that the government should not bully channel operators by holding closed-door meetings with cable operators only.
“We will finalize the proposed formula as soon as possible and collect input from all parties,” Weng said.
EVA Airways was ranked the eighth-best airline in the world for this year, the only Taiwanese carrier to make it into the top 25 Airline Excellence Awards this year, aviation reviews Web site AirlineRatings.com said on Wednesday. AirlineRatings.com has a seven-star rating system to evaluate more than 360 airlines around the world every year, EVA Airways said in a statement on Thursday. “We are delighted that efforts by the entire EVA staff have been recognized by Airline Ratings,” EVA Airways president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said in the release. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company identified and adopted services and procedures that enhance and
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
MORE WARNINGS: If the US company does not clarify and solve issues with its frozen berries, the FDA might extend an import suspension implemented last month, it said The Kaohsiung Department of Health yesterday said it fined Costco NT$4.5 million (US$146,265) over contaminated frozen strawberries, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that although the US company had filed an improvement plan, an import suspension on frozen berries could remain. Three types of frozen berry products imported and sold by Costco have tested positive for the hepatitis A virus since April. The Kaohsiung health department previously fined Costco NT$300,000 for not providing the sales list of a contaminated batch of Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend imported from Chile, in contravention of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). It later
‘NEGLIGENCE’: After reporting the incident, her superior allegedly asked her why she did not scream, which was an inappropriate attempt to ignore the allegations, critics said An accusation of sexual harassment led to the resignation of a top Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official, while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has called for a thorough investigation into the incident involving a contractor. Vice President and DPP Chairman William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he approved the resignation of DPP deputy secretary-general Hsu Chia-tien (許嘉恬), who headed the party’s Women’s Development Department when the alleged incident happened in September last year. “Gender equality is among our party’s core values, that we have strived for and advanced along with Taiwanese society,” Lai said. “The DPP did not handle it appropriately at the time,