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Taiwan mulls banning foreign TV shows from prime time
2006-01-10 03:07:56 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TAIPEI, Jan 10 (AP) -- Taiwanese authorities are considering banning South Korean and other foreign-made dramas from prime time television, an official said on Tuesday.

Yao Wen-chih, head of the Government Information Office, said the proposal is one of the options being considered to encourage local television stations to produce more locally made programs.

Yao did not give details on the proposed changes, but the Apply Daily newspaper quoted unidentified government officials as saying local film producers wanted bans imposed on the airing of popular dramas made in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and mainland China because they harm the local entertainment industry.

The newspaper said Taiwanese television stations spent 2.25 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$70 million, €56 million) alone in buying South Korean-made soap operas last year, costing hundreds of job opportunities for Taiwanese film workers and actors.

Taiwanese-made TV dramas and movies once dominated Chinese-speaking communities throughout Southeast Asia, but have recently lost ground to other foreign imports.

Last year, the Taiwan government proposed appropriating NT$20 billion (US$630 million, €500 million) to finance the production of local films.

Yao said the proposed ban on foreign programming will be considered by the new National Communications Commission, which is to take over the GIO's broadcast supervisory function in coming months.

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