Taiwan: NCC holds public hearing on Next TV sale

5 July 2013 22 h 09 min Comments Off

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(Taipeitimes, Jul 03, 2013) Next TV employees yesterday expressed support for the sale of the network to ERA Communications chairman Lien Tai-sheng (練台生) and urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to speed up its review of the sale and issue a ruling.

Lien officially took over operation of Next TV on June 1 after acquiring the network from Hong Kong-based Next Media for NT$1.4 billion (US$46 million).

The commission held a public hearing on the sale yesterday because the transaction involves the acquisition of a news channel, the influence of cable TV operators and other important issues. It said it wanted to hear from the two main stakeholders in the deal, media experts and representatives of civic groups and media associations.

Cheng Yi-ping (鄭一平), chairman of the Next TV Workers’ Union, told the hearing that a majority of employees supported the sale because both the seller and the buyer had shown goodwill toward them, giving generous severance pay and respecting their career choices.

He said Lien had also promised to negotiate with the union on salaries and benefits after the commission approves the transfer of ownership.

Cheng raised the question of why Next TV could only be viewed on cable channels recently, considering that it was formed four years ago.

“Is it because our programs are not good enough or our reporters slack off? We would admit it if that was true, but it is not,” he said.

He urged the commission to quickly rule on the sale, whether it decides to approve it or not.

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