19 March 2019

Rule change means no more wall-to-wall Empresses in the Palace

The empresses were everywhere in 2012 but from 2015 they’ll have to cut back on their TV appearances.

Empresses in the Palace, a tale of political intrigue in a Qing dynasty imperial court, seemed to be on almost every station when it aired two years ago, but mainland broadcasting authorities are aiming to stamp out such ubiquity.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has decided that each TV drama will only be allowed to broadcast on two Chinese satellite channels during primetime from Jan. 1, 2015, down from the maximum of four at present, according to a statement Tuesday on the administration’s website. 

Mainland satellite TV channels will also be banned from airing more than two episodes per day of the same TV drama during primetime. But there was no word on whether similar limits will apply to local channels, which are not subject to such restrictions.

The changes are designed to diversify and “refine content structures” on the channels, the statement said. quoted unnamed industry insiders as saying the new rules would increase program costs.

Production companies are almost certain to raise the price of broadcast rights to cover losses flowing from the smaller pool of potential buyers. And higher prices will make strong satellite TV channels even stronger and the weak weaker as top quality dramas become less affordable for smaller stations, the insider said.

But the big beneficiaries are likely to be the audience, who will have access to a wider range of programs, the report said.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]



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