Thursday, December 20, 2012

NCC to stand firm against WantWant Media Maw?

Pandemonium in the cafeteria today as dozens of groups competed in the annual gingerbread house building contest on campus.

The Taipei Times reports:
National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) yesterday said the commission’s ruling on Want Want China Times Group’s purchase of cable TV services owned by China Network Systems (CNS) remain unchanged and that the transaction would not take effect until the group fulfilled each and every requirement issued by the commission.


The preconditions include that group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) and his family members, as well as his business associates in the deal, must completely dissociate themselves from the operation of CtiTV News. In addition, China Television’s (CTV) digital news channel must be turned into a non-news channel. As a TV network, CTV must have an independent editorial system as well.
These conditions were already rejected by WantWant back in July, months ago (my post). A media report quoted:
Chao Yu-pei (趙育培), special assistant to the chairman of Want Want China Broadband, yesterday said that the Want Want China Times Group could not accept the NCC’s conditions, saying that “The company will not sell CTI Television Inc. (中天電視台) or alter the operating status of China Television Co. (CTV, 中視).” He went on to stress that “The NCC does not have any legal authority to demand that we delink the Want Want China Times Group and CTI, or change CTV’s operating status."
The curious thing is that a couple of years ago the NCC, originally created during the Chen Administration to be a lapdog of the KMT in its ongoing struggle to gain control of the media and do an end-run around the Chen Administration's control of the government news organs, was in turn targeted by the Ma Administration (here) for being a bit too independent. The Administration obviously wants this deal to go through.  Last year there a journalist who reported that the NCC had been pressured to pass the deal was sued, a case that caused an uproar. Either the NCC is simply grandstanding for the public and will be ignored by WantWant as it engulfs Next Media, to which the NCC will quietly acquiesce when presented with the usual fig leafs so it can claim the conditions were met, or else the Administration will slap it down.

The Taipei Times also reported...
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on Tuesday during the release of the nation’s first human rights report in English that he did not want the media in the nation to present only one viewpoint.
....since so much of the local media is being eaten by China, one wonders.
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