This document has not been openly published by SARFT. The following is a translation of a press article outlining and analyzing the main changes of the new IPTV license regime.
SARFT No. 43
Description of the IPTV business operation permit.
According to the requirements of corresponding radio and television management regulations, general and branch IPTV integrated broadcast control platforms, nationwide IPTV content service platforms and provincial-level content service platforms, and IPTV service enterprises, shall all respectively obtain an “Information Network Audiovisual Programme Broadcast Permit” through the corresponding permit programmes promulgated by SARFT. Only after all the above-mentioned parties obtain the corresponding permit, may they be linked up and launch services.
IPTV integrated broadcast general platform licenses are held by CCTV, IPTV integrated broadcast branch platform licenses are applied for by provincial-level television stations. Nationwide IPTV content service platform licences are applied for by central-level radio and television broadcast organs and provincial-level radio and television broadcast organs having nationwide programme resources, provincial-level IPTV content service platform licenses are applied for by radio and television broadcast organs having programme resources for their provinces. IPTV broadcast licences are applied for with SARFT by the China Telecom Group Co, China Unicom Network Telecom Group Co.
Furthermore, IPTV broadcast enterprises may provide programmes and EPG entries to integrated IPTV broadcast control platforms, after integrated IPTV broadcast control platform inspection, these are uniformly brought into the integrated broadcast control platform programme resources and EPG.
1, IPTV business has already been legalized, but the prospects of legalizations are to be controlled and managed by SARFT.
2, The original integrated IPTV licenses have ended their mission following the merger of the CCTV and Baishitong broadcast control platforms. These are replaced by the categories of licenses described in the new administration.
3, Integrated general broadcast control platform licenses undoubtedly belong to CCTV, Baishitong shall become a back-up main platform, but this point will not be reflected in the document. And integrated IPTV branch platforms will be one per province in the future.
4, Branch broadcast control platform subjects are provincial-level television stations, the city and county levels have no right of speech, thus the disputes over right of speech between provincial and city television stations may intensify. Provincial-level television stations are the largest beneficiaries.
5, The duties of general broadcast control platforms are even more located in management, planning and unifying design, such as EPG, BOSS, copyright management and other aspects, and branch broadcast control platforms stress concrete operations, business expansion, services as well as linking with operators. The latter grasp the right of speech.
6, Those obtaining national IPTV content service platforms are the three central stations and all satellite television stations. The significance of this sort of license is located in that IPTV content must mainly be provided by the radio and television system.
7, IPTV broadcast service licenses are newly established, and sensu stricto, SARFT should not have competence to distribute dissemination service licences, it is estimated that the objective of establishing this licence is a chip to gain bidirectional access and resource exchange with telecommunications operators.
8, Telecom operators still have a certain space for their own in matters of content, the size of that space depends on their relationship with the local television station.
9, The regionalized television operation characteristics of IPTV become clearer every day. If there is no improvement, under homogenization with traditional television content, the only difference lies in IP transmission.
10, As far as telecom operators are concerned, their gain is drawing support from IPTV, and successfully invading the traditional television media sector. Not only for their own broadband development have they bound up a void-filling sector, at the same time, value-added business may also become an income growth point in the future following scale expansion.