China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has issued three new rules to control content for both domestic and foreign reality programs.
The first one, which will take effect at the end of June, limits each satellite broadcaster to airing one reality show per year with content “close to the masses, with no exaggeration and no mixing the spurious with the genuine.”
This may explain why We Are in Love, a reality dating show for celebrities, was taken off the air, as China needed to see “more normal people falling in love”.
The other two rules state that only one season of each reality series can be shown per year and can only be rebroadcasted twice a day. These regulations will take effect in July.
Even though online video providers in China will not be affected by the rules, SARFT has long had control over which TV shows are allowed to air. New rules set in April dictate that an entire season of any series must be approved by the state in order for viewers to watch it on Chinese video sites.
President Xi Jinping, who has been working hard to erase vulgar and decadent content on the web, is mostly concerned with the moral issues in portraying public life on TV.
The targeted TV shows, mostly originating from South Korea, include Dad, Where Are We Going?, Running Man and We Are In Love, and are all wildly popular among Chinese viewers. No US reality shows, however, are airing in China. Lucky China.
[Image via Project Pengyou]
By Sharon Choi