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China aims at balanced mix of domestic and imported TV programmes

Foreign TV series imported into China must last for less than 50 episodes and may not be shown between 7 and 10 pm, China’s TV watchdog announced.

The broadcasting time for an imported TV series on a given channel may not surpass one-third of the total amount of time that channel dedicates to broadcasting TV series, according to a circular released by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

In order to enhance the quality of imported TV shows and expand sources for high-definition (HD) TV programmes, the HD versions of overseas TV series will receive priority consideration during imports, the circular said. TV channels may not air unauthorized overseas series in disguised forms, such as through introductions on domestic programmes, reads the circular.

Programmes that are specifically designed to introduce foreign TV series may not show more than 3 minutes of a given series. SARFT will make efforts to avoid situations in which domestic channels lean too heavily on programming from one particular country or region, the circular said.

It also urged all provincial TV administrators to intensify supervision over all TV channels under their jurisdiction and to increase penalties for content providers who violate regulations.