No entertainment for Chinese viewers

A January 3rd report covered by BBC Monitoring says that recent Chinese clamp downs on entertainment and variety shows enforced by the Chinese media regulator (SARFT) has seen two-thirds of the shows vanish from viewer’s screens. Some 34 satellite channels are affected according to the country’s top broadcasting watchdog. Out have gone talent contents, talk shows and others described by SARFT as of “low taste”. In their place have come news programming and shows that promote traditional virtues and socialist core values.

The total number of entertainment shows airing during primetime every week has been reduced to 38 from 126 at the end of 2011, marking a 69 per cent plunge, says the BBC Monitoring report, as the new rule came into effect on 1 January, quoting numbers from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television body.

According to a SARFT directive last October, each of the country’s satellite channels would be limited to broadcasting two entertainment programmes each week and a maximum of 90 minutes of content defined as entertainment every day during primetime – 7:30pm to 10pm.

However, popular dating shows such as If You Are the One, produced by Jiangsu Satellite TV, and soap operas, such as Li Yuan Chun, presented by Henan Satellite TV, will still be aired during weekend primetime hours, according to the SARFT statement. SARFT believes that the move to cut entertainment programming is crucial in improving cultural services for the public by offering high quality programming.

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