The government of China just put a chill into media companies salivating at the prospect of spreading entertainment shows to TV stations that reach the country’s booming middle class. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television just ordered China’s 34 satellite TV stations to dramatically cut back on programs that it considers to be vulgar or “overly entertaining,” the AP reports. It wants to see more news and cultural programming instead of talent shows, game shows, variety shows, talk shows and reality programming. “Satellite channels are mainly for the broadcast of news propaganda and should expand the proportion of news, economic, cultural, science and education, children’s, and documentary programming,” the agency said. It added that programs must “resolutely oppose money worship, hedonism, and extreme individualism and arduously correct bad tendencies such as abusing one’s powers, fakery, unprincipled acts, and harming others for profit.” Satellite channels collectively can offer a maximum of nine restricted programs a night between 7:30 and 10:00 while individual channels have a cap of two shows of 90 minutes or less. In addition, they must have two hours or more of news programs from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM, including two that run at least a half an hour during prime time. The new rules were no surprise: Last month the government told Hunan Satellite to stop showing a singing contest Super Girl. The government also said it will crack down on Internet sites that transmit pornography, vulgarity, and the “transmission of harmful information.” The state news agency Xinhua said that three people have been given warnings or detained for up to 15 days for using the Web to spread rumors.
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