China Cracks Down On Foreign-Inspired TV Programs, Sets Strict Broadcast Limits

Monday, Jun 20, 2016

Earlier today China's television regulator laid down some strict limits on foreign-inspired TV programs in a bid to boost innovation of domestic programming.

State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) said that overseas programs with imported copyrights will no longer be allowed to be broadcast on satellite TV channels without prior approval of local regulators.

The ruling puts pressure on TV shows such as The Voice of China, which is licensed from the Dutch company Talpa Media, and the Running Man, inspired by a similar program being broadcast in the Republic of Korea.

The limits mean that all satellite TV channels will only be allowed to broadcast two programs with imported copyrights during prime time from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every year.

SAPPRFT said that the new regulations were necessary to wean the Chinese television industry off its dependence on foreign imports, hoping that the move would boost self-innovation.

"Only self-innovated TV programs with Chinese cultural inheritance and characteristics can better carry the Chinese Dream themes, the socialist core values, as well as patriotism and Chinese fine traditions," the notice read.

SAPPRFT has been especially busy this year, in March they banned television shows from depicting "vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content," including smoking, drinking, adultery, sexual freedom, homosexuality, perversion and reincarnation.

Later the regulator also took aim at reality TV shows, banning any which prominently featured child celebrities. Bad news for fans of Where Are We Going, Dad?, especially as it is also inspired by a Korean reality show with the same name.


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