Published on December 29, 2007
TV programme ratings: A fruitless showing
The rating requirement, which was implemented last December, has not made any difference to the proportion of kids' programmes or the overall quality of TV shows.
Hopes were stirred hopes last year with the ratings system's launch. But those who
had watched television for the past decade or two could see right away that only slight changes had been made. Though TV channels now allocate more airtime to news programmes, the main staples remain the soap operas that air after the news on the royal family.
Years ago, it wasn't difficult to find a children's programme on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Now, some of those slots have been taken up with programmes about women's beauty and health.
And there was a time when kids arriving home from school could enjoy shows until 6pm. Nowadays, they're quickly gone, replaced by evening news and drama series.
Despite the ratings, evening soap operas still contain the sensationalist stuff we've been witnessing for years - cat fights, backbiting, the lavish banquets of the rich (at a time when wiser heads are trying their best to promote the sufficiency lifestyle), and luxury cars (something beyond the reach of the majority of people).
And efforts to regulate the screening time of programmes by giving them a specific rating turned out to be fruitless. Following protests from TV channels and programme producers, this idea is going nowhere.
Perhaps it's not surprising that people in this society can't think out of the same old box, particularly those who have never been exposed to the alternative programming delivered by pay TV or other media.
That was the situation of the TV scene in 2007. I don't know what changes to hope for in the coming year, but the latest news is nothing to get excited about. GMM TV, a major programme producer, announced this week that it would launch two more teen shows, encouraged by a 10-per-cent growth in revenue this year that was mainly down to programmes aimed at this age group.
It sounds like we can expect to see lots of teenagers on TV. No change there then.
Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org