Guidelines for local TV industry

THE Malaysian Television Broadcasters Alliance Bhd (MTBA), set up in July last year, aims to standardise the country's television (TV) industry practices and guidelines to better serve the viewers, said MTBA chairman Farid Ridzuan. 

MTBA comprises local TV stations - TV3, ntv7, satellite caster Astro and Metropolitan TV. 

Farid Ridzuan

Farid said the organisation was dedicated to creating a health and competitive environment while striving to work within a uniform set of guidelines covering programming, advertising, transmission standards, local content and censorship. 

“The Malaysian TV industry has matured immensely especially in the last decade and the time has come to set parameters to facilitate better control of our services,” he said in a statement. 

Farid pointed out that rivalry for ratings points and intense competition for advertising revenue was the game play for the TV industry. 

However, when it came to serving local viewers, TV stations shared a common interest and that had led to the formation of MTBA, he said. 

One of MTBA's objectives is to provide viewers with a menu of comprehensive, high quality broadcast services. 

“The advent of broadband and digital broadcasting has opened up the possibility of new services for the future,” he said. 

According to Farid, the alliance views the challenge as one that should be implemented in the near future as an integrated unit and on a unified platform. 

He said like other media related organisations, the MTBA was designed to play a big role in setting ethical and professional principles in discharging its social responsibility and business operations. 

“There should be accountability for viewership ratings, a proper measurement system and an advertising rate structure that allows the industry to prosper on all fronts,” he added. 

This move would provide advertisers with a specific profile of the TV stations including ratings by programmes, time-slots and demographics substantiated by documented research and a credible measurement system, he said. 

Farid said MTBA also hoped to work with the appropriate government agencies in initiating censorship guidelines leading to self-regulation. 

The alliance also saw itself functioning as the central body for the dissemination of information and advice about the TV industry work as a united front, he said. 

Industry observers agree that the creation of the alliance representing television stations is a positive step forward in the management of the local television Industry. 

Farid believes that the TV industry would prosper and provide superior services benefiting Malaysian viewers. 

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