Notice Concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Foreign Television Drama Import and Broadcast Management
On 9 February, SARFT issued the “SARFT Notice Concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Foreign Television Drama Import and Broadcast Management” to all provincial, autonomous region and municipal radio, film and television bureaus, the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps Radio and Television Bureau, the Central Television Station, China Film Group Co., and China International Television Company, the Notice says that, after the promulgation and implementation of the “Foreign Television Programme Import and Broadcast Management Rules” (SARFT Decree No. 42), the “Notice Concerning Strengthening Imported Drama Planning Work” (GFWZ No.(2002)948) and the “SARFT Notice Concerning Prohibiting Broadcasting Foreign Television Dramas as Columns in Violation of Regulations” (GF No. (2009)82), all levels’ radio and television organs have earnestly imported and broadcast foreign television dramas according to relevant SARFT regulations, which has given rein to a vigorous function in enriching the popular masses’ spiritual cultural life, enhancing understanding of the excellent cultures of all nations of the world. In order to further strengthen and improve foreign television drama import and broadcast management work, the relevant requirements are notified as follows:
I, Strengthening import project filing, examination and approval management
(1) SARFT accepts all filing applications from importing work units divided over two times per year. The accepting times are from 1 until 10 January and July. All importing work units, when applying for project filing, shall earnestly fill out the “Imported Drama Project Filing Planning Report Form” (see Attachment 1 for the format), and report it to SARFT for examination and approval after reporting to the provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entity for preliminary examination.
(2) Foreign television dramas having passed project filing shall be reported to SARFT for examination within the stipulated time, according to regulations, materials such as the import contract (Chinese and foreign language), copyright certification (Chinese and foreign language), the credentials of the organ providing the film, etc., shall be submitted, and an “Imported Foreign Television Drama Application Form” shall be earnestly filled out (see Attachment 2 for the format), and it shall be reported to SARFT for examination and approval after reporting to the provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entity for preliminary examination.
(3) In order to raise the quality of imported dramas, and expand high-definition programme resources, high-definition versions of foreign television dramas shall be imported with priority; the length of imported foreign television dramas is in principle controlled at 50 episodes or less.
(4) All provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities shall earnestly implement preliminary examination management duties, strictly grasp orientation and style, strengthen examination of materials and content from the beginning of project filing, and may not import foreign television dramas involving lawsuits or having violent or vulgar content.
(5) Where foreign dramas for whatever reason cannot be reported for examination or their content has not been able to pass after examination, after they have been listed in project filing planning, they may be changed once to a programme from the same production location and with the same theme.
II, Strengthening imported drama re-distribution after contract renewal examination and approval management
(1) Foreign televisions that have been imported with SARFT approval, after the “Television Drama Distribution Permit” expires, where the work unit having the original import qualifications signs an import contract and copyright authorization letter with the copyright holder, are reported by provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities to SARFT, and may only then be redistributed.
(2) To apply for re-importing foreign television dramas after contract renewal, materials such as such as the import contract (Chinese and foreign language), copyright certification (Chinese and foreign language), the credentials of the organ providing the film, etc., shall be submitted, and an “Imported Foreign Television Drama Contract Extension Application Form” shall be earnestly filled out (see Attachment 3 for the format), and it shall be reported to the provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entity for examination and approval. All levels’ administrative radio, film and television entities shall again conduct content examination, issue a content examination approval letter, and report to SARFT for examination and approval.
(3) SARFT will examine and approve these put together during the last month of every season on the basis of the import contract extension application and content examination opinions reported by the provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities. A “Television Drama Distribution Permit” will be issued again to foreign television dramas that are approved for redistribution.
III, Strengthening imported drama broadcast management
(1) All levels’ broadcasting organs must strictly according to SARFT regulations, when broadcasting foreign television dramas, earnestly examine and verify corresponding procedures and approval documents, and indicate the distribution permit number during the opening titles.
(2) Foreign television dramas may not be broadcast during the golden hours (19:00). All television channels’ daily broadcast of foreign television dramas may not exceed 25% of the total television drama broadcast time of that channel on that day.
(3) All levels’ television stations reporting and obtaining SARFT approval for imported television dramas must broadcast it first on their station, only after firs broadcast is it permitted to distribute it to other television channels for broadcast.
(4) All television channels may not covertly broadcast complete television dramas that have not passed SARFT examination and approval or that have not obtained distribution permits in means such as short column dramas or foreign television drama introductions. The duration of foreign television dramas inserted in every column may not exceed three minutes, the cumulative use of foreign television drama fragments may not exceed ten minutes in duration. Information-type columns introducing foreign television dramas usage of foreign television drama fragments may not exceed one minute in duration.
(5) Further strengthening foreign television drama broadcast country balance management, it is to be avoided that individual television channels broadcast foreign television dramas from the same country or region together in the same time slot.
(6) All provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities must strengthen supervision and management over all levels’ television channels broadcast of foreign television dramas within their jurisdictions, and expand punishment strength against channels violating regulations. If situations violating regulations are discovered, the provincial-level administrative radio, film and television entities shall issue a “Rectification Notification” to the broadcast organ violating regulations, and order reform within a specified time limit; and issue a “Violation Punishment Decision Letter” to organs that do not reform or where broadcasting activities violating regulations are discovered a second time within 180 days of completing reform, and report them for criticism at the same time. Where circumstances are especially grave, SARFT will issue a “Violation Punishment Decision Letter”, and report them for criticism nationwide.
This Notice will take effect on the day of promulgation. The original “Notice Concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Foreign Television Drama Import and Broadcast Management” (GFSZ No. (1995)547) and the “Notice Concerning Strengthening Local Television Station Rebroadcasting Foreign Television Drama Management” (GFSZ No. (1999)489) are abolished at the same time.
1.Imported Drama Project Filing Planning Report Form
2.Imported Foreign Television Drama Application Form
3.Imported Foreign Television Drama Contract Extension Application Form