The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday rejected CTi TV’s application for its CTi Asia channel to be on Chunghwa Telecom’s multimedia-on-demand system, as it is planning to coproduce programs with Chinese television stations.
The ruling, which did not surprise industry observers, has shut down the network’s second attempt to reinstate its news programs on cable or other platforms in Taiwan.
Last year, the commission rejected the network’s proposal to broadcast news programs on the CTi Variety channel after CTi News’ license renewal application was rejected in 2020.
NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) told a news conference in Taipei that CTi Asia, an offshore channel that is aired in Hong Kong, Macau, Guam and Southeast Asian countries, in September last year applied to be a domestic channel.
“CTi Asia’s business plan states that it would mainly air variety programs and the news programs are only secondary,” Wong said.
“However, more than 50 percent of the programming on its schedule are related to news, with 29 percent being daily news broadcasts and 29 percent being political talk shows,” he said.
Its business plan also states that it would coproduce programs or documentaries with China’s Dragon Television and Xiamen Star, he said.
“We have consulted the Ministry of Culture, which told us that all Chinese media are essentially owned by the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
“The ministry said that CTi Asia’s business plan could contravene Article 33-1 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) and should be rejected by the NCC in accordance with Article 10 of the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法),” he said.
Article 10 of the broadcasting act says that a channel’s operating plan should be rejected if it “contravenes compulsory or prohibitive regulations under the law, or adversely affects the national security, overall industrial development, public order or good social customs.”
The commission examined the channel’s quality control mechanisms, which are no different from other channels on the network, Wong said, adding that commissioners were not convinced that the news department can operate professionally and independently.
When asked whether the ruling means that Taiwanese stations are banned from coproducing programs with Chinese television stations, Wong said that a few stations in Taiwan have aired series they purchased from China.
“The ministry has to review Chinese-produced films and television programs based on the Rules for Licensing of Films, Videos and Radio and Television Programs Entering Taiwan (大陸地區出版品電影片錄影節目廣播電視節目進入台灣地區或在台灣地區發行銷售製作播映展覽觀摩許可辦法) and approve them before they can be aired on TV,” he said.
“However, CTi Asia’s business plan lacked details of its involvement with the two Chinese television stations,” he said.
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