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China cracks down on American Idol-style shows

By Associated Press


BEIJING >> Chinese authorities are cracking down on how often broadcasters can air reality, dating and talent shows such as the Chinese versions of "American Idol" and "The Voice," which draw huge audiences.

Provincial broadcasters show such programs, which are cheap to produce and earn a lot of advertising revenue, on satellite channels that are broadcast around the country.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that the "American Idol" kind of talent shows now need approval from the body that oversees broadcasting, which will license one such program per channel each quarter for prime-time viewing.

It also reported that new regulations require satellite channels to allocate no less than 30 percent of their weekly air time to topics including news, economics, culture and science from next year.

There have been repeated efforts to limit American-style reality TV and other light fare shown on satellite TV, or push them out of prime-time viewing, with stated reasons including the need to stop vulgar content and promote more efficient use of resources.

Repeated calls to the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, which reportedly issued the latest regulations, rang unanswered.

Liu Shanying, a political scientist at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said he suspected the new regulations were because the satellite channels were taking too much audience away from the national broadcaster China Central Television.

The administration "is helping CCTV, the TV broadcaster that has the main task of carrying forward the government's message," said Liu, who used to work for CCTV. "The local stations have more freedom to attract audiences with entertainment shows. And that takes away too many viewers from CCTV and they are afraid that no one will pay attention to the government's tune."

The restrictions are expected to drive still more viewers online -- where they can watch the same types of pre-recorded shows -- and away from state TV.

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mikethenovice wrote:
American idol is a great TV show for today's smartphone kids. What a great way to pass the time watching American Idle.
on October 22,2013 | 04:55AM
onevoice82 wrote:
MTN...are you being sarcastic? I can't tell. I love American Idle, The Voice, except for Ceelow, and The X-Factor but I think kids should not be "passing time", they should be playing sports or outside moving their bodies in some healthy way.
on October 22,2013 | 05:22AM
localguy wrote:
Actually it is the Chinese government that doesn't get it. The senile, dysfunctional, out of touch bureaucrats mistakenly think the people want to watch stuffy, government bland style of TV. They completely fail to understand today's generation cannot be blindly led around as they could back in the 20s-60s. Today's generation has tasted the real good life in other countries and can't stand the repressive government. China whines how it will become a world leader. Uhhh, sorry, not going to happen when you can't let your people watch what they want, try to control their minds and take there money. Oh, we will not even talk about your sad spin of the choking smog covering many of your cities. No, it is not "Fog." Exactly why the Chinese look to the US Embassy with it's accurate air quality reading system. Decades ahead of what the communist government has to use when it gives daily lies about weather quality. The people can see right through them, the old fogies.
on October 22,2013 | 05:24AM
krusha wrote:
I guess China wants to de-Americanize their televisions like they want to do with the world economy. :) Competitions such as this may breed too much individualism, creativity, and materialism in their society and endanger their marxist ideologies.
on October 22,2013 | 06:40AM
leino wrote:
I love to watch the judges feign excitement, awe, and udder enrapturement [ it is a special explicative used for this kind of sarcasm].
on October 22,2013 | 07:14AM
HD36 wrote:
Promoting nacrcissism is good for China's domestic economy and consumerism. If they can get their population to spend more than they save and buy the latest fads, their country will be less relient on exports but eventually more relient on social welfare programs as their work ethic declines.
on October 22,2013 | 07:53AM
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