Communications Authority Press Release (June)

This press release summarises the decisions of the Communications Authority (CA) following its 96th meeting held in June 2020.

Public Views Sought on the Relaxation of Television and Radio Codes of Practice

In response to suggestions received from broadcasting licensees, the CA today (23 June 2020) issued a public consultation paper to invite views on the proposed relaxation of some areas of regulation under the Television and Radio Codes of Practice on Programme and Advertising Standards.

Specifically, the proposals cover the following aspects –

  1. relaxing the substantiation requirements imposed on broadcasters for certain advertisements of real properties situated in and outside Hong Kong already covered by separate regulatory regimes;
  2. permitting the insertion of in-programme advertising material in television programmes covering sports events, subject to certain conditions/restrictions; and
  3. advancing the start of broadcast hours for mature programmes and certain material of an adult nature from 11:30 pm to 11:00 pm.

The CA considers that the proposed relaxations would reduce the compliance burden on broadcasting licensees and provide them with greater flexibility in their business operations and programme scheduling without compromising the interests of audience. Details of the above proposals are set out in the consultation document on the CA's website. Views should be submitted to the CA on or before 23 July 2020.

Broadcast Complaints

The CA considered two complaint cases in respect of the broadcaster’s non-compliance with the Radio Code of Practice on Programme Standards (Radio Programme Code) and Generic Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards (TV Advertising Code) –

  1. complaint against the radio programme "Simon Willson" broadcast on Radio 3 Channel of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) on 15 December 2019. The CA decided that the complaint was justified and that RTHK should be warned to observe more closely the relevant provision in the Radio Programme Code; and
  2. complaint against the television programme "Weather Forecast" (天氣預報) broadcast on RTHK TV 33 and RTHK TV 33A Channels of RTHK on 30 September 2019. The CA considered that the complaint was justified. Having regard to the circumstances of the complaint, the CA decided that no sanction be imposed on RTHK, but reminded RTHK to take the necessary steps to ensure future compliance with the relevant provision in the TV Advertising Code.

Details of the cases are at Appendix.

Communications Authority

23 June 2020