Over 20 foreign TV channels suspended over new rule

VietNamNet Bridge – A new Vietnamese regulation on pay TV effectively temporarily stops local viewers watching more than 20 foreign channels from Wednesday this week.

Viet Nam, foreign TV channels, new rule, VSTV

Illustrative image. (Source: Internet)

The regulation on pay TV operations provided in Decision 20/2011/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister requires foreign TV channels be edited prior to being broadcast in Vietnam, with effect from May 15.

Pay TV operators including K+, VTV CAB and SCTV began on Wednesday to stop over 20 foreign channels pending Ministry of Information and Communications licenses for editing contents of these channels.

The affected foreign channels include CNN, BBC, Star Movies, AXN, CNBC, Cinemax, Discovery World, NHK World, Star World and ChannelNewsAsia.

Vietnam Satellite Television Company (VSTV), the operator of K+, has sent a notice about this issue to its customers. It is considering adding a number of domestic TV channels to its current packages.

At a meeting held by the information ministry last year to inform foreign broadcasters of this new regulation, some broadcasters said that if content of a channel was translated and edited, its broadcasting could be delayed, affecting their competitiveness and pushing up operational costs.

International broadcasters have expressed concern that this regulation might force them out of the domestic pay TV market.

This regulation was originally scheduled to come into force on November 15. Then only 16 of 75 foreign TV channels met the editing and censorship requirements, leading to a delay of the regulation.

The regulation compels certain programs on foreign TV channels to be translated into Vietnamese.

All movie and news programs must have subtitles. As for science, sports, entertainment and general channels, their news, reportage and documentary programs must be translated before they are broadcast.

Source: SGT

Viet Nam, foreign TV channels, new rule, VSTV