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SARFT Announces Internet TV STB Regulations

LMTW, 7/15/11

Yesterday, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) issued the Memorandum Regarding the Strict Prohibition of Providing Audiovisual Programming Over Internet-Connected Television Set-Top Boxes. The memorandum clearly states that any party seeking to provide audiovisual content for televisions through internet-enabled STBs (or DVD players, or other devices) must be organized by SARFT in one of China's network convergence trial cities. To date, SARFT has not authorized any companies to offer audiovisual programming for TV terminals through internet-enabled STBs or other devices.

The Memorandum also requires that until SARFT begins issuing permits to provide audiovisual programming through internet-enabled television-connected devices, no website may offer any such services; nor may they serve as content providers for any companies illegally operating unlicensed internet television services.

SARFT has ordered all websites offering audiovisual programming for television devices to immediately cease operations, shut down their internet TV platforms of their own accord, and cease all sales and promotions.

Keywords: government policy convergence television Internet TV SARFT regulation set-top box

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