Surplus of TV dramas leads to broadcaster corruption

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/19 0:13:40

Roughly one-third of Chinese TV series are never broadcast due to the overproduction of TV dramas, leading to massive corruption at television stations, which are bribed into overstocking series, media reported.

Over the past five years, only 9,000 of the 15,000 to 19,000 episodes of TV dramas produced annually aired on television stations at all levels, the Nandu Daily reported Sunday.

"The overproduction of TV series is a long-existing problem in this industry, and sometimes only one in 10 TV series is able to be broadcast," Zhang Peng, an associate film professor at Nanjing Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Television stations are therefore often bribed into purchasing surplus TV series. According to Nandu Daily, provincial broadcaster Anhui TV purchased 327 TV series from 2011 to 2013 at a total cost of 2.4 billion yuan ($359.9 million). But 21 of the series - worth a combined 210 million yuan - could not be broadcast by August 2014, even if the TV station were to broadcast 10 drama episodes per day. 

Zhang Suzhou, former president and Party chief of the Anhui Broadcasting Corporation, stood trial for suspected graft in November 2015, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The former executive was accused of taking 11.4 million yuan in bribes from advertising companies, TV producers and singers while serving as the broadcaster's president and head of the Anhui provincial administrative bureau of radio, film and television from April 2006 to July 2014.

"A lack of annual purchase quotas, clear-cut purchasing procedures and standards contribute to massive corruption in this industry," said Zhang Peng. He noted that corruption, in turn, encourages the production of more and more TV series.

In 2015, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television limited the number of broadcasting platforms for a TV drama series from four to two, the Beijing Daily reported.

"The new policy aims to decrease the overstocking of TV series," Yin Hong, a professor at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times.

Zhang Peng argued that the success of video streaming websites and market pressure to pursue high audience ratings will help ease overcapacity and eventually eliminate it.

Posted in: Politics, Society, TV

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