Television

ESPN Star goes off China's airwaves

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MUMBAI: Pan Asian sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has gone off the air in China after the authorities refused to renew their permits last week.



A report in Variety states that they were the only channels among a group of foreign networks not to be re-upped by China's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (Sarft). No reason was given for the refusal.



ESS was already restricted to broadcasting to hotels with three-star or higher ratings and to compounds for foreign nationals.



"ESPN Star Sports is still in the renewal process of its 'landing rights' and is actively working to conclude the arrangements," the Variety report quoted an ESS spokesman as saying in a written statement.



Meanwhile Sarft will impose stricter restrictions over prime time TV series from next month. Sarft says that the country's satellite TV stations should only screen 'ethically inspiring TV series' during prime time, which reflect the reality of China in a positive way.



The restriction will go into effect in February and last for at least eight months state reports.

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