In a bid to eliminate vulgar or racy content from its air waves, satellite broadcasters in China will reduce their entertainment programs on television by two-thirds, according to reports.
The measure is reportedly designed to stamp out American-style TV talent shows and so-called ‘reality TV’ programs at the behest of the government.
The state-controlled Xinhua news agency said the order, which came from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), became effective on January 1.
Satellite channels have started to broadcast programs that promote traditional virtues and socialist core values, SARFT said in a statement.
The regulator added that it believes that the move to cut entertainment programming is crucial in improving cultural services for the public by offering high quality programming.”
Under the order, each of China’s 34 satellite channels will be restricted to only two entertainment programs each week, with a maximum of up to 90 minutes of entertainment content each evening from 7:30 pm to 10 p.m.
As a result, the overall number of entertainment programs which air during prime time plunged to 38 from 126.
Broadcasters will also be mandated to increase the number and length of serious news programs.
However, according to Chinese media, two of the most popular shows, a dating program called ‘If You Are The One’ and a soap opera called ‘Li Yuan Chin’ will inexplicably remain on the air.
Chinese President Hu Jintao was long warned about the insidious effects of Western pop culture on China.
In a recent column written for a Communist Party publication called Qiushi, Hu said: We must clearly be aware that international enemy forces are stepping up their strategic plots to westernize and split our country. The fields of thought and culture are important sectors they are using for this long-term infiltration. We must clearly recognize the seriousness and difficulty of this struggle sound the alarm bell . . . and take effective measures to deal with it.
BBC reported that China has the largest TV audience in the world -- some 95 percent of the country’s 1.3-billion people are regular watchers.