The Newsroom

Ofcom revokes CGTN's broadcasting license

They say CGTN is 'controlled by a body which is ultimately controlled by the CCP'

RD
Roger Darthwell London London

At this point it will be removed from Astra 28.2E isn't it?


Astra 28.2E is owned by SES, and CGTN could if it wanted to continue broadcasting.

But because of the way UK platforms work - hardly anyone would be able to watch. Therefore, like Press TV before it, it will retreat to other satellite positions.

So it will now become impossible to watch the channel in the UK from now on isn't it?
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today

At this point it will be removed from Astra 28.2E isn't it?


Astra 28.2E is owned by SES, and CGTN could if it wanted to continue broadcasting as long as it continue to pay an uplink provider.

But because of the way UK platforms work - hardly anyone would be able to watch. Therefore, like Press TV before it, it will retreat to other satellite positions.

(The UK EPG system controls what can and can't be watched on TV platforms. When satellite TV was still new, there was talk about how viewers could potentially access all kinds of channels from around the world, with the IBA/ITC having no control - EPGs remove that issue, meaning the internet is now the way to go for international content, until the question of which apps appear on your TV is regulated...)


I think though, all UK 'platform' satellite receivers still have to be able to be manually tuned, so that non EPG channels can be viewed ?
This is why buried deep in the menus of Sky and Freesat boxes, the facility still exists ?

However, yes, you're right, to all intents and purposes, take a channel off the EPG, and no one will be left watching it.
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Avatar credit: © BBC, ITA, BREMA 1967
OV
Orry Verducci Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
I think though, all UK 'platform' satellite receivers still have to be able to be manually tuned, so that non EPG channels can be viewed ?
This is why buried deep in the menus of Sky and Freesat boxes, the facility still exists ?

However, yes, you're right, to all intents and purposes, take a channel off the EPG, and no one will be left watching it.

It can definitely still be manually tuned in by those who know how to do it.

Sky will let you add it to the 'other channels' menu on legacy boxes and the 'manual tuning' menu on Sky Q boxes. Freesat boxes can be switched in to 'non-Freesat' mode in their settings menu, which turns them in to standard FTA boxes that can tune any channel.

Knowledge of manual tuning has been more widely spread and used for viewers trying to watch high profile channels. For example its often used by Irish viewers trying to watch the UK channels (e.g. ITV/UTV), and I believe it became somewhat popular in Scotland at one point when STV were opting out of many ITV network shows.

In CGTN's case, I doubt many people will go to the effort of adding the channel back, so once it's off the EPG it's effectively unavailable.
Last edited by Orry Verducci on 4 February 2021 12:30pm
Rijowhi, UKnews and lhx1985 gave kudos
LH
lhx1985 Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)

Knowledge of manual tuning has been more widely spread and used for viewers trying to watch high profile channels. For example its often used by Irish viewers trying to watch the UK channels (e.g. ITV/UTV), and I believe it became somewhat popular in Scotland at one point when STV were opting out of many ITV network shows.

In CGTN's case, I doubt many people will go to the effort of adding the channel back, so once it's off the EPG it's effectively unavailable.


Seem to remember there being a few people south of the border who discovered the feature to watch South Park on STV, also!

Off- EPG Channels tend not to last long, however. Rapture, PressTV, numerous shopping channels. Once tuning in requires significant effort, the cost per user rarely warrants the cost of a slot on the transponder.

That said, I suppose the Chinese Communist Party is going to be less concerned about the commercial situation. They're not running the channel as a business, afterall!
Recently warned for making an 'off-topic post' about GB News in a topic about GB News, which is about as TVForum as you can get. Seems only approved opinions my be articulated, perhaps?
ST
steveboswell Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I suspect a few people (myself included) used it to watch CNN HD during last year's US elections. The faff with watching manually-tuned channels isn't so much finding them in the first place, although that has been made a deliberately complicated process on some devices, but the fact that switching back to the the regular EPG is also pretty time consuming.

As others have said, CGTN can continue to pay for a slot on the satellite and keep broadcasting as long as they like. They may well choose to on a point of principle. Will people make the effort to keep watching, though?
SI
sigma421 Granada North West Today
It’s interesting that this is now an issue (although I’m hardly sad to see CGTN go). The channel has been on Sky (originally as CCTV-9) for at least 15 years. Obviously, under it’s old name it was clearly under the control of CCTV so it’s hardly like this is a new thing.

This must put RT (and possibly TRT World?) on pretty thin ice.

Probably not. The footnote on the Ofcom ruling says:

The Broadcasting Act 1990 prohibits (among other disqualified persons) bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature, or those who are controlled by such bodies, from holding a broadcast licence. There is no statutory prohibition on state-funded organisations from holding broadcast licences.

The license holder here was ultimately the Chinese Communist Party whereas RT and TRT are state owned, so they're no different ownership wise than Deutsche Welle, France 24 or the BBC.

This wasn't about content:

We expect to conclude separate sanctions proceedings against CGTN for due impartiality and fairness and privacy breaches shortly.

That’s the thing though. If the conclusion is that CCTV is not an acceptable licence holder because it is state owned. Presumably CCTV did once hold a licence for the CCTV-9 version of the channel.

Additionally, CCTV is ultimately under the control of the State Council of China. Now while it’s obviously very difficult to say in China where the CCP ends and the state begins, it’s hard for me to understand what makes this substantially different in practice (rather than on paper, which seems to be the approach Ofcom has taken) from RT.
CF
CallumF Central Reporting Scotland
Amol Rajan was just on the News at One discussing this - see below:




So it would appear there is something being mentioned by China's Foeign Ministry about the BBC and their covereage of both Wuhan as well as the Uighur Muslim camps.
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
Amol Rajan was just on the News at One discussing this - see below:




So it would appear there is something being mentioned by China's Foeign Ministry about the BBC and their covereage of both Wuhan as well as the Uighur Muslim camps.


CGTN tweeted this, just an hour after the Ofcom verdict:




and the BBC responded:


IS
Inspector Sands
Both SD and HD versions have now disappeared off satellite
RD
Roger Darthwell London London
Both SD and HD versions have now disappeared off satellite

Off Astra 28.2E only, or off every satellite?
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
Both SD and HD versions have now disappeared off satellite

Off Astra 28.2E only, or off every satellite?

Still available on Astra 19.2E and Hotbird 13E for anyone to watch, and all outside of Ofcom's jurisdiction.
IS
Inspector Sands
Both SD and HD versions have now disappeared off satellite

Off Astra 28.2E only, or off every satellite?

Sorry, just 28.2 I assume... unless anyone knows differently

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