Changes to the mainland's TV regulatory structure will enhance independent programme production and increase staff mobility, efficiency and motivation, a senior Shanghai broadcasting official says. But analysts warn of impending turf wars. The vice-director general of the Shanghai bureau of the Ministry of Radio, Film and TV, Jin Minzhu, said the restructuring would increase professionalism within the industry by separating programming and production into self-contained sectors. Programme standards would rise as the Shanghai industry became more competitive. 'It will be the survival of the fittest. If you are not good enough, there will not be a place in the market for you,' Ms Jin said. Yet there are fears the changes could create uncertainty and internecine squabbles between branches of government. Under a reshuffle introduced by Premier Zhu Rongji this year, the ministry is being renamed the State Administration for Radio, Film and TV (Sarft). The Sarft ranks below a ministry in Chinese nomenclature. It will administer broadcasting policy formulated by the newly formed Ministry of Information and Industries (MII). 'It sounds like a lessening of power, but the Sarft's head is still described by the Chinese in an English translation as a minister, and under him are vice-ministers. That is not a lessening of power at all,' a Beijing-based analyst said. He believed a power struggle was being waged among bureaucrats for control of broadcasting policy, although some commentators see the changes as part of a process of liberalisation. Kaushik Shridharani, regional media analyst with Salomon Smith Barney in Hong Kong, is moderately optimistic about chances for liberalisation. 'I think the ice is beginning to break open,' given recent reforms that included increasing the number of foreign channels allowed limited distribution in the mainland, he said. The Beijing analyst said lack of delineation between the MII and Sarft would create confusion. 'If a cable service wants to add a new channel, if a provincial station wants to up-link to a satellite so it gets a wider distribution, who do they go to for permission? It is not clear cut,' he said. These were the sort of issues that could spark an inter-ministry battle and could be settled only by creation of a single policy overlord, the analyst said. He also questioned the chances of significant reforms, noting the importance Beijing placed on the role of TV as an instrument of state propaganda. He forecast that in two to three years, the Ministry of Culture would take responsibility for broadcasting, noting powerful former MRFTV minister Sun Jiazheng had been made Minister of Culture.