Sunday, August 20, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | China TV Foreign Cartoon Ban Just Days Away

From September 1, a new regime of censorship at China's broadcasters takes effect when all foreign cartoons are banned from the TV airwaves between 5pm and 8pm, regarded as prime viewing time for the country's youth.

The move by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television is aimed at protecting the domestic animation industry.

Home grown TV cartoons tend to mimic the Japanese TV originals, but with less humorous appreciation by the audience.

If "Shanghai Oriental Children's TV Channel", or "Haha TV" as it is commonly known by local kids, is typical, it won't have to change much, as it only plays one or two cartoons during prime time each night.

With 75 per cent of China's advertising budget going on television, there seems, for now, little concern for the impact of the ban.

Advertisers appear to be be adopting a 'wait and see' attitude.

For Chinese animation studios the foreign TV cartoon ban is welcomed.

Zhou Jun, deputy director of Shanghai Animation Film Studio has been quoted in local media as saying: "It is inspiring news - many countries have similar preferential policies to protect their own cultural industries. Now we feel much more responsible for generating better-quality cartoons for our kids."

It will be interesting to see how digital TV broadcasters and the animation studios in China handle this new edict. Even more importantly will there be a drop in the kid's viewing audience?

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