The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday rejected Eastern Broadcasting Co (EBC) Asia’s applications to broadcast its three offshore TV channels on Chunghwa Telecom’s multimedia-on-demand system.
Eastern Broadcasting has three offshore channels: the Asian News channel, Asian Variety channel and YOYO Asia channel. It broadcasts in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
The company filed the application through Chang Ho Media Technology Co.
NCC Vice Chairman and spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) stipulates different rules for domestic and offshore channels.
The commission oversees the operations of domestic channels based on their business plans, while it oversees offshore channels based on pledges they made to the commission, Wong said.
Certain regulations only apply to domestic channels, Wong added.
For example, Article 8 requires satellite channels to broadcast a certain share of domestically produced programs, while there is no such requirement for offshore channels, Wong said.
The commission found that most programs on Eastern Broadcasting’s offshore channels are produced by a California-based company and other local channels that belong to the same group, Wong said.
“While the applications were filed by Chang Ho, EBC remains the owner and operator of these three offshore channels and has the right to arrange the broadcast of programs and commercials,” Wong said. “However, EBC also owns domestic satellite channels, and an approval of the applications would be inconsistent with the NCC’s standards to regulate content.”
Chang Ho told NCC commissioners that the network had already established a subsidiary in Taiwan, and its Asia News channel is planning to recruit 100 staff for its news department, Wong said.
However, the commission found that the channel was still using the office, personnel and resources from the parent company, Wong said.
Programs on the three offshore channels and those on other channels of the group would not be distinct from each other, Wong said.
Taiwanese would not benefit much from the broadcast of these offshore channels, Wong said, adding that the channels would lack content diversity and there would not be enough funds for domestically produced programs.
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