Notice Concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Foreign Film and Television Drama Import and Broadcast Management
Foreign film and television drama import and management is an important content of our country’s radio and television sector management, its objective is to, through conducting the necessary standardization of foreign film and television drama import and broadcast, stimulate the healthy and orderly development of Sino-foreign film and television culture exchange activities, guarantee our country’s television culture mainly reflects social progress and the carries forward the excellent culture of the nation. The Ministry issued Decree No. 10, (“Ministry of Radio, Film and Television Management Regulations Concerning Import and Broadcast of Foreign Television Programmes”), which is an important regulatory basis for conducting management over foreign film and television drama import and broadcast. This year, our Ministry has dealt with a number of television stations violating import and broadcast management regulations on the basis of Decree No. 10. This year, all levels’ administrative radio and television departments must strengthen law enforcement strength, and further do foreign film and television drama import and broadcast management well. Hereby, the following requirements are notified:
I, All localities’ television stations absolutely must strictly implement the management provisions and requirements concerning foreign film and television drama broadcast in our Ministry’s decree No. 10 and the recent Ministry Party organization “Report concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Radio, Film and Television Work” approved and transmitted by Central Committee Secretariat and State Council Secretariat, and must give first place to broadcasting excellent domestic products during the golden hours period of three hours between 19.00 and 22.00, foreign film and television dramas’ broadcast proportion may not exceed 15%. In order to strengthen supervision and management over foreign film and television drama broadcast, all provincial, autonomous region and municipal radio and television offices (bureaus) shall appoint special organs and responsible persons to be responsible for this work; all television stations must report their broadcast situation of the previous month in the first week of every month to the offices (bureaus), monthly reports must carry the signature of the responsible station head; all offices (bureaus) report the broadcast situation of the previous season of their provincial and municipal-level television stations before the 15th of the first month of the new season to the Ministry Social Management Department, broadcast season reports must carry the signature of the controlling office (bureau) head.
II, Foreign film and television drama import and broadcast must occur under the presupposition of having obtained lawful authorization. Foreign film and television dramas not having lawful copyright certification, will not be examined and approved by our Ministry; foreign film and television dramas not having been examined and approved by out Ministry, may not be broadcast without exception by any locality’s television station.
III, All provincial, autonomous region, municipal, provincial capital and plan-listed city television stations must establish an excellent product consciousness concerning foreign film and television drama work, pay attention to selecting excellent products with healthy content, relatively high knowledge values and enjoyment values for broadcast. In order to strengthen coordination of import work, all television stations must, before drafting agreements with foreign sides, report detailed written materials concerning the selected programme to the Ministry Social Management Department in advance (the plot description may not be less than 300 characters per episode), the Ministry Social Management Department conducts examination and verification on the basis of the situation of that year’s overall quantity of import and approval and the programme’s theme, location of production, length and other factors, all station are to draft agreements or break off programme import on the basis of the Social Management Department examination and verification opinion; only after examination, verification and approval to draft agreements, may the programme be reported to the Ministry Social Management Department for final examination according to the earlier procedure. For programme import at television festivals, apart from examination and verification of written materials, preliminary programme specimen tape will still be conducted.
IV, In order to raise import work efficiency, stimulate all television stations to strictly guard the content and quality pass when importing programmes, and at the same time convenience the broadcast arrangement and audience viewing, henceforth, the length of imported foreign dramas is in principle limited at 30 episodes; one work unit may only report once per year, TV plays or short television dramas of 6 episodes or less may not be subject to the one-time reporting limit in view of the concrete situation; if the reported television programme is not approved for import at final examination, it is not allowed to change the tape (programmes not having passed preliminary examination for television festivals may be exchanged).
V, All provincial, autonomous region and municipal radio and television offices (bureaus) mist strictly guard the pass of preliminary import examination; our Ministry will further revise and detail examination standards, those not conforming to examination standards may without exception not be approved for import.
VI, Henceforth, on the basis of the general situation and the regulatory needs of a year’s import, broadcasting rights of programmes passed through examination will be approved at two levels, the national level and the station concerned. Foreign dramas only approved for broadcast at the station concerned, can only be broadcast by the station concerned, and it is strictly prohibited to distribute them or exchange them for broadcast with other stations.
VII, The objective of importing foreign film and television dramas is to enrich and let flourish our country’s television culture and satisfy the popular masses’ diverse requirements concerning television programmes, therefore, importing dramas should not be a method of profit. During import, all stations absolutely must pay attention to standardized operations, and it is strictly prohibited to let imported dramas change hands, or trade them for the object of quick and large profits.
VIII, All provincial, autonomous region, municipal, provincial capital and plan-listed city television stations must, strictly according to our Ministry’s Decree No. 10 and the above requirements, standardize foreign film and television drama import and broadcast work, if there are violations, with regard to the gravity of the circumstances, the following punishments are imposed: 1. report of criticism; 2. warning; 3. cancellation of foreign film and television drama import powers; 4. fines; 5. cessation of self-produced literature and art programmes; 6. cancellation of the television station.
This notice takes effect from this year’s Sichuan International Television Festival. The original import standards preliminarily issued to all offices (bureaus) for 1994 and 1995 will no longer be accepted from 1 January 1996, before this date, they may still be used.