TV soap opera to receive tighter rating/airtime

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BANGKOK, 6 May 2011  – The Ministry of Culture will tighten control on the television soap opera rating system and stipulated time slots for any shows which are deemed unsuitable for children and youth in the wake of the recent ‘Dok Som Si Thong’ craze. 

Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat stated that film and soap opera ratings should be applied in the same manner. He suggested that television soap operas which are rated suitable for viewers aged more than 18 years should be aired only after 22.30 hrs.

Mr Nipit said he has proposed this suggestion to Prime Minister’s Office Minister overseeing the media Ongart Klampaiboon; however, in reality, those television shows with adult ratings are still broadcast at 20.30 hrs, which makes the rating useless since the airtime is not late enough and many children still watch the television.

Echoing the minister’s viewpoint, Permanent Secretary for Culture Somchai Sianglai elaborated that films, which are rated as suitable for viewers aged more than 18 and 20 years, are usually repeated on TV screen only after 22.30 hrs and midnight respectively until 5.00 hrs. He said the same measure should be compulsory for TV soaps.

Mr Somchai confirmed that the authorities do not want to limit freedom of soap opera producers but want to protect the common benefits, especially for children and youth. He said his ministry is ready to arrange a seminar to discuss the issue with soap opera producers and television station executives.

The move came in the wake of the recent notorious soap opera ‘Dok Som Si Thong’ (Golden Orange Blossom) aired on Channel 3. The show has been very popular and widely criticized regarding the role of the leading character and the content of the soap opera itself.