Chinese authorities to curb number of TV talent shows broadcast on satellite channels

Satellite channels will only be allowed one programme per channel

Chinese officials are to begin limiting how often TV stations in the country can broadcast talent shows such as the Chinese versions of The Voice and American Idol.

Sky News reports, via the official Xinhua News Agency, that TV talent shows will now need approval from the body that oversees broadcasting with just one programme per channel, each quarter, set to be approved for prime-time viewing. As of 2014, all satellite channels will also be required to dedicate 30 percent of its weekly air time to news, culture, science and economics.

Liu Shanying, a political scientist at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tells Business Insider that he suspects the new regulations have been introduced as a measure of taking back power from satellite channels who were gaining bigger audiences than national broadcaster China Central Television.

Shanying, a former employee of China Central Television, says he believes that the administration “is helping CCTV, the TV broadcaster that has the main task of carrying forward the government’s message.” He adds: “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 predicted to drive viewers online, where they will be able to watch the same type of TV programmes from around the world.