The Newsroom

Ofcom revokes CGTN's broadcasting license

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

WH
whoiam989 World News
Just to let you know...

Breaking: Ofcom have just revoked CGTN's license to broadcast in the UK




If my guess is correct, "Star China Media" might be the same Star China Media, which is owned by China Media Capital (CMC), an equity company headed by Li Ruigang (who was a head of Shanghai Media Group). Star China Media was formed as a part of the sale of some of the old News Corp's (and subsequently 21st Century Fox's) assets in Mainland China, which were previously a part of Star TV (yes, once a major player in Asia-wide media landscape - not just India - that the new Disney+ portal is named after), to the CMC. The News Corp assets sold to the CMC at the time include Xing Kong Weishi (a Mandarin Chinese entertainment channel), the Mainland Chinese version of Channel V music channel, and Fortune Star library of Chinese language films.

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.


CCTV9 was more documentary oriented programmes wasn't it?.


The original CCTV-9 (the news channel in English, which is now the CGTN channel) was renamed CCTV News in April 2010. Months later, in January 2011, CCTV launched two documentary channels (in English and Mandarin Chinese each) named CCTV-9; the English version of the documentary channel is now named CGTN Documentary, while the Chinese version stayed as CCTV-9.
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
Star China Media was formed as a part of the sale of some of the old News Corp's (and subsequently 21st Century Fox's) assets in Mainland China, which were previously a part of Star TV (yes, once a major player in Asia-wide media landscape - not just India - that the new Disney+ portal is named after), to the CMC.


The same Star TV that after being taken over by Murdoch in the 1990s dropped BBC World from AsiaSat's northern beam to please the Chinese....

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re: Roger's earlier comment on other satellites, CGTN is still broadcasting a 16:9 SD service in a 4:3 frame on Astra 19.2E!!!

Ofcom is quite unique across most of Europe, as its decisions have the power to effectively ban a free-to-air service from the only satellites most of the nation can receive, due to the near complete market domination of closed EPG systems. No European regulator can stop a service on Astra 19.2E or Hotbird 13E. Regulatory denial would obviously stop the service from being distributed on earth-based platforms or as part of a pay TV package in the country/countries where the service is marketed and would stop it appearing on any pay TV EPG, but there are too many generic free-to-air satellite receivers / triple tuner TVs in use there.

But of course, if it was banned in one country, it might be able obtain a licence elsewhere in the EU or EEA and continue as before. A potential loophole that since 1st January can no longer be used by CGTN.
1stplayertokens, Inspector Sands and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
BA
Ballyboy UTV Newsline
Jamie Owen from BBC Wales today was seen on a report. I thought he was in turkey
RD
RDJ Central (West) Midlands Today
Jamie Owen from BBC Wales today was seen on a report. I thought he was in turkey


He left TRT World in 2019 and is one of CGTN’s main anchors.
Central News South January 9th 1989 - December 3rd 2006
DV
DVB Cornwall West Country (West) Spotlight
CGTN is still working on AppleTV as at a minute ago.
WW
WW Update
CGTN is still working on AppleTV as at a minute ago.


But since broadcasters don't need licenses to broadcast on the Internet, Ofcom's decision wouldn't affect AppleTV, right?
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
CGTN is still working on AppleTV as at a minute ago.


But since broadcasters don't need licenses to broadcast on the Internet, Ofcom's decision wouldn't affect AppleTV, right?


Yes, same principle behind Fox News being available again in the UK via internet only and the decision by some broadcasters (Insight TV and TV5MONDE) to go online-only instead of having to get an Ofcom licence to continue broadcasting to the UK.

At the moment, Ofcom are only just starting to look at regulations and policies regarding apps on smart TVs, dongles and streaming boxes, e.g. accessibility, PSB prominence, but not yet at which apps/streams should be available.
EM
Emily Moore Granada North West Today
I'm in two minds about this. Part of me says that we have free speech in this country, and the media should be allowed to broadcast whatever it wants - even if that is Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

On the other hand, our TV news market has been flooded in recent years with well-resourced channels constantly blasting the viewpoints of often adversarial foreign governments - RT is the one which has gained the most traction, but there's also CGTN, TRT World and to a lesser extent, stations like Al Jazeera and Arirang. All of these produce some high-quality and watchable content, but all of them are there for one main purpose, to push the views of their sponsoring state. You won't find objective reporting of the Navalny issue on RT, or the Nagorno-Karabakh war on TRT, for instance.

I'm not fully convinced that we should shut it all down, but I'm also not fully convinced that we should give foreign governments unfettered access to our airwaves, particularly when they would never do the same in return - and indeed in the case of China, actively block websites and jam radio broadcasts from the likes of the BBC.
FB
Fluffy Bunny Feet
I'm in two minds about this. Part of me says that we have free speech in this country, and the media should be allowed to broadcast whatever it wants - even if that is Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

On the other hand, our TV news market has been flooded in recent years with well-resourced channels constantly blasting the viewpoints of often adversarial foreign governments - RT is the one which has gained the most traction, but there's also CGTN, TRT World and to a lesser extent, stations like Al Jazeera and Arirang. All of these produce some high-quality and watchable content, but all of them are there for one main purpose, to push the views of their sponsoring state. You won't find objective reporting of the Navalny issue on RT, or the Nagorno-Karabakh war on TRT, for instance.

I'm not fully convinced that we should shut it all down, but I'm also not fully convinced that we should give foreign governments unfettered access to our airwaves, particularly when they would never do the same in return - and indeed in the case of China, actively block websites and jam radio broadcasts from the likes of the BBC.


I think you've answered your own doubts there, if I be so bold.
1. News under UK regs has to be impartial.
2. Ownership must clearly be stated.
As much as I enjoyed some of the cultural items on CGTN (and all the output was well made) I was well aware it's news was subtly biased eg, early in the HK protests there was no reporting at all.
As such it all comes down to trust.
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
I'm in two minds about this. Part of me says that we have free speech in this country, and the media should be allowed to broadcast whatever it wants - even if that is Chinese Communist Party propaganda.


To be fair when people are talking about freedom of speech, they’re talking about the public and independent organisations. Not state broadcasters peddling miss information with no interest in impartial news coverage.

I'm not fully convinced that we should shut it all down, but I'm also not fully convinced that we should give foreign governments unfettered access to our airwaves, particularly when they would never do the same in return - and indeed in the case of China, actively block websites and jam radio broadcasts from the likes of the BBC.

Ofcom shouldn’t be making decisions on a tit for tat basis, and they shouldn’t implement the rules based as a means of retaliation. I do think it’s acceptable if the UK government unilaterally block the service, in name of fair play.

18 days later

WW
WW Update
It seems that CGTN *may* be back on the air in the UK, depending on what the French regulator decides:



AndrewPSSP and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
MI
TheMike Central (East) East Midlands Today
Interesting that CGTN was pulled from Vodafone cable in south western Germany because of the Ofcom ruling, while the cable operator checks if a valid licence is held by the broadcaster. CGTN Documentary, which I don't think has been licensed in the UK was also chopped.

Also a result of the pre-Christmas Brexit deal which has resulted in Ofcom licences continuing to be valid in countries signatory to the European Convention for Transfrontier Television (ECTT).

While this is a Council of Europe treaty, not all member states are signatories to the convention.

This is laid out in an Ofcom briefing published 6th January (because the Brexit deal was so last minute).

In reverse, a broadcast licence can't be necessarily be used to broadcast in all Council of Europe states - it depends if you have dual coverage of EU/EEA and ECTT and, for ECTT purposes, the whole status of established broadcaster has to be considered which looks at where your workforce is and where decisions about the broadcast output are made.


2. Which countries are party to the ECTT?
The following countries are party to the ECTT: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

The following EU Member States are not party to the ECTT: Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Sweden

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/190342/faq-television-on-demand-services-after-brexit.pdf

As to why France, I should note that CGTN does already run a French language channel on Astra 19.2°E, so it may be seeking to build on that from a regulatory point of view to get around the whole 'established broadcaster' criteria.




Edited to clarify legal position.
Last edited by TheMike on 22 February 2021 10:11pm - 2 times in total

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