The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said it has asked Mirror TV to submit a written report explaining why its news channel is airing a political talk show during prime-time hours, even though it had stated multiple times in its business plan that it would not do so.
It was one of the significant pledges that Mirror TV made to secure a broadcasting license in January last year.
“The TV station has repeatedly indicated in its business plan, along with other supplementary information it provided, that it has no plan to produce political talk shows similar to those of other cable news stations in Taiwan. We have asked it to explain the matter,” said NCC Chen Chin-shuan (陳金霜), a senior specialist at the Department of Broadcasting and Content.
NCC Vice Chairman and spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that the commission would watch video clips of Mirror News’ program and has asked it to offer explanations, both in writing and in person.
If the news channel is deemed to have failed to adhere to the obligations and conditions that the NCC had set when it granted the license, the commission would revoke its previous ruling in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法), Wong said.
However, if the channel is deemed to have failed to follow its business plan, it would be given a warning or be fined NT$100,000 to NT$1 million (US$3,114 to US$31,145) for contravening Article 61 of Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) and ordered to rectify the situation, he said.
Separately, the NCC said that it would monitor the quality and quantity of channels that cable systems are planning to provide after Disney General Entertainment Content terminates the operations of its cable channels in Taiwan on Jan. 1 next year.
The US-based entertainment group has applied to end the operations of the 11 channels it owns in Taiwan, including Star Chinese Channel, Star Chinese Movies, Star Movies Gold, Star World, Star Entertainment Channel, Star Chinese Movies HD, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild HD (國家地理高畫質野生頻道) and Baby TV.
Five of the 11 Disney-owned channels are basic channels (channels 1 to 100), with National Geographic on Channel 18, Star Chinese on Channel 31, Star Chinese Movies on Channel 61, Star Movies Gold on Channel 69 and Star World on Channel 79. Cable service subscribers across the nation are waiting to see which channels would take over once Disney exits the market and whether it would affect their subscription fees.
NCC Commissioners yesterday began reviewing cable subscription fees proposed by cable system operators in Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, who have proposed replacing the five basic Disney channels with BBC Earth, PTS Channel 3, TaiwanPlus, Rock Action movie channel, CatchPlay, BBC Life or three other Taiwanese channels.
“We have not approved proposed cable service fees yet, but the commissioners have been engaged in extensive discussions over the types of channels that cable operators have proposed to fill the vacancies, including whether the quality and quantity of the channels are equivalent to the ones they are replacing, or whether there should be fee adjustments for revised channel lineups,” Wong said. “Cable operators said they would try as much as possible to find high-quality channels to fill the vacancies so that subscribers would not feel a difference in content.”
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