The Chinese adaptation of Saturday Night Live has been pulled from Chinese digital platform Youku. The remake of the NBC Universal format has been taken down from the service after launching a few weeks ago. The fourth episode of the Chinese show was due to launch last weekend but did not air and the previous episodes have also been taken down. It’s not exactly clear why the show was removed but there’s an increasing crackdown on controversial entertainment shows by the Chinese government. Regulators have recently urged media platforms to broadcast “positive energy” and protect them from “low taste and harmful programs.” The Chinese version of Saturday Night Live was hosted by comedians Yue Yunpeng and Chen He. The partnership between Youku, a unit of Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group, and NBC Universal was announced last April. Over the last few years, ten international versions of Saturday Night Live have been licensed across the world, most recently including France, the Middle East and Finland. Last month, China’s Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform pulled posts of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with host John Oliver mocking China’s President Xi Jinping, including jokes about his resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.
Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services in the UK have overtaken traditional pay-TV services for the first time. The number of subs to services including Netflix, Amazon and Sky’s Now TV reached 15.4M in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 15.1M pay-TV services. Some 11.1M households in the UK – 39.3% of the population – now have subscribed to at least one SVOD service. Netflix is now available in 9.1M households, while Amazon is available in 4.8M households. The figures have been released via regulator Ofcom as part of its Media Nations 2018 report. Sharon White, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said, “Today’s research finds that what we watch and how we watch it are changing rapidly, which has profound implications for UK television. We have seen a decline in revenues for pay TV, a fall in spending on new programmes by our public service broadcasters, and the growth of global video streaming giants. These challenges cannot be underestimated. But UK broadcasters have a history of adapting to change. By making the best British programmes and working together to reach people who are turning away from TV, our broadcasters can compete in the digital age.”
The BBC has lost a privacy case against popstar Cliff Richard and the British public broadcaster must pay an initial £210,000 ($275,000) in damages. The BBC reported extensively that the singer was being investigated for historic child sex abuse. However, Richard, who was never charged or arrested, sued the BBC. The BBC has apologized to the Move It singer, whose real name is Harry Rodger Webb. “We are sorry for the distress that Sir Cliff has been through. We understand the very serious impact that this has had on him. We have thought long and hard about how we covered this story. On reflection there are things we would have done differently, however the judge has ruled that the very naming of Sir Cliff was unlawful. So even had the BBC not used helicopter shots or ran the story with less prominence, the Judge would still have found that the story was unlawful; despite ruling that what we broadcast about the search was accurate.”