Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) is to issue two new terrestrial television licences.
One of the licences will be for a commercial station and one will be for a station airing public interest programmes, with the latter not being allowed to broadcast commercials.
NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which is in charge of planning the use of the nation’s broadcasting spectrum, said five new terrestrial television licences would be issued. As the administrative authority executing the policy, the commission can decide on the formats that the licences will be issued in.
“The arrival of new television operators on the playing field could drastically reduce the advertising revenues of the current players, so we have decided that only two new licenses would be issued initially,” Chen added.
Chen said those obtaining the new licences, which would be valid for nine years, must commit to broadcast only high-definition programs. Once the licenses expire, the owners must return their licences, which would be opened for bidding again.
The commission has yet to decide if the current operators should be subjected to the same rule when their licenses expire, Chen said.