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Networks shirk rule on local content

Children watch television at a house in Phnom Penh in 2014.
Children watch television at a house in Phnom Penh in 2014. Pha Lina

Networks shirk rule on local content

Cambodia's broadcasters are dodging their legal obligation to show only Khmer-produced content between 7pm and 9pm, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said yesterday, urging stricter compliance.

Sin Chansaya, director of the ministry’s motion picture department, urged both his ministry and the Ministry of Information to get tough on violators with warnings, fines and even licence revocations in cases of noncompliance.

The rule came into force on January 1. The Ministry of Information put out a warning of its own on Monday, telling broadcasters that continued defiance would lead to legal action.

Information spokesman Ouk Kemseng said that cable networks are the biggest offenders, while over-the-air broadcasters have complied.

Chansaya said that Cambodian networks spent between $7 million and $10 million importing up to 20,000 foreign films and TV episodes in 2015.

He said Khmer production is still limited but vowed that his ministry would train more Cambodian producers.

He also announced a plan to increase the tariffs on imported films and TV shows, to get local broadcasters to use Cambodian content.

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