For some broadcasters, it was the day the music died.


China's major media regulator and censor last week put a stop to the slew of new singing competitions soon to hit China's airwaves. In a statement, the clumsily named State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television postponed ready-to-run shows and adjusted broadcast time of the current shows so that they no longer took up big blocks of primetime viewing.


They also asked for a little less glitz. TV producers were asked to abstain from extravagance, putting on dazzling packaging and playing up sensational elements in TV program productions, according to the statement. The reason, it said, was to avoid having too many similar TV programs and to provide more viewing options for audiences.


The statement didn't name ' The Voice of China, ' the reality show broadcast by Zhejiang province's satellite broadcaster and based on the Dutch program ' The Voice of Holland. ' But then, it didn't have to. The immensely popular TV show has spawned a slew of imitators since it premiered last year. The show has broken records and, according to the government broadcasting agency's research center, has been watched online over 2.6 billion times.

声明未提到浙江卫视播出的真人秀“中国好声音”( The Voice of China)。但也没有点名的必要。这档广受欢迎的电视节目自去年开播以来已经吸引了大批模仿者。据广电总局研究中心的数据,该选秀节目已经打破纪录,网络总点击量超过 26亿。这档节目源于荷兰节目“荷兰之声”( The Voice of Holland)。

The moves angered viewers who have mocked previous efforts to tamp down on time travel, dating shows and general whimsy. " All TV channels nationwide put on the same news program at 7 p. m. every night," said one Sina Weibo user," in a reference to state broadcaster China Central Television's sober evening news broadcast. So bored, you know? Please restrict it!"

此举引发观众不满,此前广电总局打压穿越剧、相亲选秀节目以及搞怪节目的做法已经广受诟病。一位新浪微博( Sina Weibo)用户说,全国电视台还每天 7点整播同一个节目(新闻联播)呢!早厌烦了好么,求限制!

The crackdown on pizzazzframed by the regulator as part of China's austerity pushwas also questioned. " This is ridiculous," said Peng Kai, consulting director of Legend Media, a Beijing-based media company, adding" how can you attract audiences without a dazzling stage set and quality shows?"

对节目华丽程度的限制(广电总局称之为中国节俭行动的一部分)也受到质疑。北京媒体公司乐正传媒( Legend Media)的咨询总监彭凯(音)说,这太荒谬了,没有炫丽的舞台和高品质的表演,你怎么吸引观众?

Still, the latest measure found some industry support. While summertime often ushers in talent shows, the singing competition scene seems to be a bit crowded this year. Nine major provincial satellite channels have singing competitions on air, with three more lining up to run, according to local media reports.


" The curb can boost the variety of TV programs. Otherwise, the huge TV program market will be wasted," said Lu Wei, deputy general manager of Shanghai Canxing Culture& Broadcast, producer of ' The Voice of China. ' Its second season is running as usual.

“中国好声音”( The Voice of China)的制作公司上海灿星文化传播有限公司( Shanghai Canxing Culture& Broadcast)副总经理陆伟说,这样的限制措施可以扩大电视节目的种类。否则,庞大的电视市场将白白浪费掉。“中国好声音”第二季正在正常播出中。

Fierce competition makes producers more risk averse, which makes echoing the successful" The Voice of China" a safe bet. " Hit TV shows in China are usually those concerning people's daily life while not requiring much to join or watch," said Liu Yuzhe, director of brand promotion department of the satellite TV channel of Jiangsu province. " Dating shows and singing competitions normally do well on China's TV screens."


Celebrity Battle, a singing competition show that Jiangsu had hoped to run next month, is among those halted. " It really affects the competitiveness of my channel, since we took so much effort to create and prepare this show," said Mr. Liu. " But all of a sudden, the efforts are wasted."

江苏卫视曾希望下个月能够播出的歌唱选秀节目“全能星战”( Celebrity Battle)是被叫停的节目之一。刘宇哲说,这确实影响了江苏卫视的竞争力,因为我们为创作和筹备这个节目付出了很多努力。但突然一切努力都白费了。

The latest regulation is in accordance with the regulator's efforts last year to control the total number of entertainment shows, including dating shows, talent shows and reality shows, in favor of news programs and documentaries.


" The limitation does not affect TV program production that much, but it challenges the viewing habit and[ viewing] time of the audiences," said Mr. Liu. The rule limits the daily broadcasting of entertainment shows to 90 minutes per satellite channel during primetime.

刘宇哲说,限制措施不会给电视节目的制作造成太大影响,但会挑战观众的收视习惯和收视时间。新的措施规定各卫视每日娱乐节目的黄金档播出时间不得超过 90分钟。

Other countries regulate broadcasting to varying degrees. But Mr. Peng, of Legend Media, said too much could hurt the industry. " Interference with TV program production will limit the creative space of producers and hinder the industry's development," he said.