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China limits entertainment programmes on TV

Tuesday 25 Oct 2011
China’s television watchdog has capped the amount of entertainment programmes, including reality TV shows, which satellite channels can broadcast from the start of 2012, China Daily reports.

China limits entertainment programmes on TV

Each of the country’s 34 satellite channels will be limited to two such programmes each week, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Under the new directive, a channel can also broadcast a maximum of 90 minutes of content defined as entertainment every day during prime time.

The decision is the latest move to curb TV shows of “excessive entertainment” and “low taste”, said the statement. Within these brackets are some matchmaker programmes, talent contests, talkshows and reality shows.

The watchdog will also control the total number of entertainment shows nationwide. During prime time, the 34 channels can only show nine entertainment programmes in total, the statement said, adding that channels should increase the number of news programmes, educational programmes and documentaries.

When all the new rules come into effect on 1 January 2012, channels will be required to broadcast at least two hours of news programmes between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Every channel has also been ordered to create a programme that promotes traditional virtues and socialist core values.

Channels have been forbidden from taking decisions based purely on audience viewing figures, and directed to place greater emphasis on social values.