An extract from The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review, 11th Edition


i Regulation on media distribution generally

The RTA and the SBA require a radio or television broadcasting business operator or a satellite broadcasting business operator to classify the programmes that it broadcasts in accordance with the Regulations Governing TV Programme Rating promulgated by the NCC, and that the programmes be easily identifiable and distinguishable from advertisements.

Radio and television broadcasting business operators and satellite broadcasting business operators are prohibited from broadcasting any programmes or advertisements invested in or produced by the government and related to a certain candidate in elections. If radio and television broadcasting business operators and satellite broadcasting business operators accept sponsorship, they shall clearly disclose the information concerning the sponsors before and after broadcasting programmes.

To develop local cultural industries, the RTA stipulates that locally produced programmes shall not be less than 70 per cent of the total programmes, and locally produced drama programmes broadcast in the time slots from 8pm to 10pm shall not be less than 50 per cent of the total drama programmes. If a satellite broadcasting programme supplier broadcasts dramas, films (including documentaries), variety shows or children's programmes in specific time slots designated by the NCC, the ratio of locally produced programmes to the total broadcasted programmes shall not be less than 25 per cent and the ratio of premier programmes thereto shall not be less than 40 per cent (decreased to 20 per cent in the case of broadcasting films).

The SBA also requires satellite broadcasting business operators not to broadcast any programmes containing embedded marketing placed by the government, or any programmes invested, produced, sponsored or subsidised by the government without disclosure of relevant information. Furthermore, placing embedded marketing in news-related or children's programmes is not allowed. When placing embedded marketing in other programmes, satellite broadcasting business operators shall not deliberately affect the content of such programmes, or directly encourage viewers to purchase specific products or services, or exaggerate the effect of such products; and shall disclose the information about the business operator who placed the embedded marketing before and after the programmes.

ii Internet-delivered video content

With the development of technology and communications, OTT services have not only gradually impacted the existing industries but have also brought various challenges for regulatory bodies. At present, the NCC does not regulate OTT services but has drafted the DCBA Bill, which introduces the spirit of internet governance and can be considered as a positive response to the needs of the times. As for OTT audio and video streaming services, the NCC announced the ASMA Bill in August 2020 to solicit public comments. The ASMA Bill aims to regulate OTT audio and video streaming services and encourages OTT operators to apply for registration with the NCC on a 'voluntary' basis. Registered OTT operators have to make regular reports on its operations in Taiwan and comply with burdensome requirements with respect to information disclosure. Moreover, the ASMA Bill will prohibit telecom operators, IDC service providers, CDN service providers, cloud service providers, etc. from providing services to Chinese OTT operators without obtaining permission from the Taiwan government and require them to cooperate with the relevant competent authority to block or adopt other necessary measures to limit access to those OTT services. Some TV programme content delivered through OTT video streaming services may raise piracy concerns, content owners are also urging the NCC to amend relevant laws and regulations, requiring telecom operators to block illegal websites where piracy content came from. Nevertheless, the NCC has yet to decide on adopting such an approach due to freedom of speech concerns.