Taiwanese regulators have turned down an application for a television license from a Hong Kong company whose local affiliate conquered the Internet earlier this month with a fanciful video of golf star Tiger Woods' Florida auto mishap.
The computer-generated video by Taiwan's Apple Daily newspaper depicts the night of the Nov. 27 accident as its animators imagined it. Woods and his wife, Elin, are shown having a heated argument at home before she chases after his SUV, waving a golf club. Woods then crashes.
The clip took the Internet by storm amid intense media scrutiny of Woods' personal life.
The clip was part of the "Action News" initiative launched two weeks ago by Apple Daily that uses animation to reconstruct incidents of rape, murder and other violence or sensational events.
On two consecutive days last month the Taipei municipal government fined the paper 500,000 New Taiwan dollars ($15,500) for failing to protect the city's youth from exposure to vivid crime scenes. The paper issued a public apology and promised to make its animations less graphic.
But Taiwanese media regulators Wednesday sought to curb the offline distribution of such videos, rejecting an application by Apple Daily's parent company, Next Group, for a 24-hour news channel and for another news-and-entertainment channel.
Regulators decided the sample clips Next submitted violated news norms by mixing animation with actual news videos and photos, the commission said on its Web site.
"Reconstructing events in a dramatized way does not meet news requirements for factual presentation," the agency said. "The animated videos ... trample human dignity in causing the victims (of news events) to be hurt a second time."
The commission did not mention the animated video about the Woods crash.
The Next Group is run by Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai. Both Next magazine and Apple Daily have leveraged celebrity gossip, gory images of crime and explicit illustrations of bloody accidents to buck the trend of declining media revenues.
Next's chief executive Chu Wah-Hui said the group regretted the Taiwan regulators' decision and planned to refile its application.