China's media marketplace is full of chaos and uncertainty right now -- so much so that a powerful provincial satellite TV broadcaster has scrapped some results from its recent advertising auction and announced a do-over.
The central government is putting the squeeze on China's previously freewheeling TV industry, clamping down on content and advertising. In recent weeks, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) regulator has restricted "overly entertaining" shows, then announced an end to commercial breaks during dramas. Earlier, time travel was banned from TV plots because it treats history in a frivolous way.
The result: less supply, more demand for ad minutes and even greater inflation in an already heated market, with some prices now jumping as much as 50% over last year, according to estimates.