All foreign TV channels must have Vietnamese translations next May 15

TN News

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Most foreign channels will not be broadcast on Vietnamese pay television next May unless the content of their programming is translated and edited before being shown to viewers.

The rules on foreign channels will be implemented after May 15 next year, which marks the second extension of a previous deadline since last May.

The policy was expected to take effect on November 16 after a six month delay.

On the same day, however, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Do Quy Doan said his ministry had sought permission from the prime minister to delay the rule's application due to problems related to enforcement.

Among the problems is that many foreign channels do not want any outside interference in the content of their programming, according to Dan Tri.

Fifty nine foreign channels currently being broadcast in Vietnam, including BBC, Channel V, CNBC, CNN and Star World, may be off the air, according to Tuoi Tre. 

The media reported that the move also provoked concerns about a raise in broadcasting costs.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi said on November 22 the regulations are aimed at making it easier for Vietnamese viewers to enjoy foreign language programming.

In March 2011 the Vietnamese prime minister issued regulations on the translation and editing of foreign programs on pay TV as part of the country's plan to manage the industry.

According to the regulations, the contents of movie must be fully translated.

All news content, even for channels specializing in, science, education, music or sports, as well as general channels, will have to be translated in order that the channels can stay on the air.

Only news channels are permitted to submit summarized translations of their programming.

As of November 9, only 16 of 75 foreign stations received the necessary license to be translated and edited before being shown to viewers.

Among them, 10 channels, including Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ESPN, Fashion TV, HBO, Kidsco and Star Sports are currently translated and edited by the Vietnam News Agency.

The other six, Australia Network, DW, KBS World, National Geographic Channel, Star Movies and TV5 Monde Asia are being monitored by VTV, formally known as Vietnam Television.

The two national media institutions are now the sole authorized providers of translated and edited contents for foreign televised programming in Vietnam.

Pay TV service providers in Vietnam now also broadcast 62 domestic channels along with 75 foreign ones, Luu Vu Hai, a Ministry of Information and Communication official was quoted by local media as saying in mid November.

Vietnam now has 4.4 million pay TV subscribers, according to the head of Broadcasting and Electronic Information Department under Ministry of Information and Communication.

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