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China Media Monitor Intelligence - 07 CMYB Look Inside (Page 10)

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China Media Monitor Intelligence - 07 CMYB Look Inside
2007 China Media Yearbook & Directory
2.1 Introduction
rom a production standpoint, China's domestic television content has blossomed
in recent years. According to SARFT statistics, there are currently nearly 3,000 TV
production companies throughout China today, up from roughly 400 in 2000.
2.2 Channels
Provincial digital broadcast-
ers greatly expanded specialty
channels and pay-TV bundles in
In March, 2006 central China's
Hunan TV (HNTV) announced
SARFT approval to launch Chi-
na's first nationwide digital shop-
ping channel. HNTV did not say
whether it has concluded any
carriage agreements with local
CATV networks and the channel
has so far soft launched in Hunan
and Nanjing only. First year sales
targets stood at RMB300 million
(US$37 million) and the operator
expects profitability within one
In May 2006, Shenzhen Cable
launched four new digital chan-
nels for home shopping, local
Guangdong drama, real estate
and a channel promoting `mari-
time travel'.
The same month in Shanghai,
digital pay-TV operator SiTV an-
nounced it had added another
four existing channels to its plat-
form, bringing its total to 21:
Henan People's Radio and niche
channels from Taiyuan TV, Liaon-
ing TV and Jiangsu TV.
In October 2006, China got its
first pay-TV cooking channel with
the launch of Qingdao TV's `Chi-
nese Feast' channel. Content for
the channel is mostly produced
in-house and Qingdao TV is in
discussions with pay-TV platform
operators CDP and SMG for na-
tional carriage.
CCTV pay platform opera-
tor China Digital Media (CDM)
announced in July 2006 that it
would no longer continue discus-
sions with Beijing cable operator
Gehua for the carriage of CDM's
Fengyun, in the nation's capital.
According to CDM, the fall-out
was due to Gehua's refusal to
allow decryption at the end user
rather than the cable head-end,
as well as competitive issues with
Gehua's parent, Beijing All Me-
dia & Culture Group (BAMC),
that operates its own pay-TV
package. BAMC's pay-TV offer
has been in a free `trial period'
for almost four years, with no end
yet in sight. The service has yet to
be promoted widely and plans
to actually make consumers pay
for it have been stymied by poor
results from customer surveys.
CDM has now entered into
negotiations with two state enti-
ties which offer cable services
to a few still existing `work units'
or danwei. Beijing Aviation and
Beijing Tianxintong Telecom En-
gineering Co. Ltd. provide TV
services to employees living in
corporate complexes with total
subscribers for both work units
around 15,000.
In July 2006, Guangdong me-
dia heavyweight Southern Media
Corporation (SMC) announced
SARFT permission to launch a
home shopping channel in part-
nership with domestic bus stop
advertiser White Horse Group.
Initial plans called for the chan-
nel to be carried on cable net-
works throughout Guangdong
2.3 TV Drama
According to Li Jingsheng,
head of SARFT's TV Drama Depart-
ment, China is now the world's
largest producer of TV dramas
with 2005 output of 12,000 epi-
sodes, and output increasing by
1,000 episodes annually.
In line
with SARFT attempts to create
`golden products,' big budget
productions included a 40 part
CCTV production Seven Swords,
shot on location in Xinjiang by
noted Hong Kong director Tsui
Hark and based on his earlier film.
Yet growing production numbers
and high profile projects are not
necessarily a measure of industry
success: Nielsen TV ratings in Au-
gust 2006 showed dramas falling
to third place, behind news and
This has not dampened broad-
caster enthusiasm for big-budget
products: With an investment of
RMB20 million (US$2.5 million), the
Qiao Family Mansion
Dayuan) directed by Hu Mei pre-
According to Li Jingsheng, head of SARFT's TV Drama
Department, China is now the world's largest producer of
TV dramas with 2005 output of 12,000 episodes, and output
increasing by 1,000 episodes annually.

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