HCM CITY(VNS)— A shortage of new soap operas is forcing TV networks to air reruns of local and foreign TV series from years ago.
"Television channels in big cities and provinces always have reruns of serials," Nguyen Thi Thao, a regular TV watcher in HCM City, says.
"But this year the number … is much higher."
Viewers can see Cong Mat Troi ( The Sun Gate) every day on SCTV14 at 8.45pm and on HTV7 two hours later.
The acclaimed series, made in 2010, has been shown repeatedly on HTV7 and cable TV channels around the country since then.
The 2011 serial Tinh Khuc Mua Thu (Autumn Love Songs) is being shown on VCTV2 at 9am and on BTV1 at 8.45pm daily.
It was broadcast on VTV9 and VTV3 last year.
Cau Vong Tinh Yeu (Rainbow of Love) is on VTV4 at 9.45am and VTV9 at 10am. The 80-episode series, produced in 2011 based on the script of the South Korean serial Family Honour, was shown in many cities and provinces last year.
For many years HCM City Television had kept the 1pm slot on HTV7 for new Vietnamese-made TV serials. But not this year as it dredges up serials produced years ago for the slot.
Kinh Thua O Sin (Dear My House Maid), a 35-episode comedy series about domestic help made in 2011, is being broadcast now.
It was shown on many channels around the country last year.
Even older foreign serials are being dusted off.
Tran Le Van, a HCM City high school student, says: "Vietnamese serials rebroadcast on TV networks are not as old as many foreign ones shown again on SCTV."
Princess Returning Pearl being shown on SCTV now is a 1997 Chinese Taiwan serial. Before that it broadcast mainland China serial The Dream of Red Chamber made in 1987. Both had been shown in Viet Nam in the 1990's.
Faced with a shortage of both scripts and funds, film studios are slow in making new TV serials.
Yet cable TV rates have been hiked, many complain.
Customers now have to pay VND109,000 a month for SCTV channels, up from VND88,000.
Van says: "Subscriptions have gone up but not the quality of TV programmes." — VNS