The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved applications from 16 cable system operators to move Sanlih Entertainment Television’s (SET TV) financial news channel, iNews, from channel 88 or 89 to 48, right next to the cable news block (channels 49 to 58).
Yesterday’s approval, along with a previous approval granted to another cable operator, would allow iNews to reach about 25 percent of cable service subscribers across the nation, the commission said.
The commitments made by iNews during its interview with NCC commissioners would be the criteria by which the commission would evaluate the channel and review its license renewal, NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
The channel was told that it should incorporate these commitments into its business plan, Wong added.
To ensure the independence of the newsroom, the commission told iNews to make news media ethics guidelines part of its contract with employees, he said.
The channel pledged to recruit at least 35 employees in the next three years, during which it would spend a minimum of NT$200 million (US$7.19 million) to recruit workers and produce new programs, he said.
The content of iNews should be different from that on SET News, although they belong to the same media group, the commission said.
Specifically, iNews should keep its promise that 80 percent of the content would be financial news, of which 40 percent would be international financial news, the commission said.
Moreover, 60 percent of its programs should have never been broadcast on other cable TV channels, it said.
General news should make up less than 10 percent of its content, the commission said, adding that its shared content with SET News must be less than 10 percent.
SET TV would add two financial experts to its ethics committee to review cases related to financial news, the commission said.
The network told NCC commissioners about its plans to produce new programs if its viewership increases to 3.5 million to 4 million, it added.
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