SYDNEY — Aussie film and TV producer-distrib Becker Entertainment on Thursday unveiled its first co-production in the large but elusive market of China.

Under a just-signed pact with China Central TV (CCTV), the nation’s only national TV group, Becker will produce in Oz a 26-part English-language learning program to be broadcast twice weekly in primetime to 375 million homes across China on CCTV 1, CCTV 2 and as many as 300 regional stations.

“The production of our first program for mainland Chinese TV provides an opportunity to work closely with CCTV in the development of other projects, and represents the opening chapter in what we believe will be a growth market for Becker,” Becker topper Richard Becker said.

Great expectations

Becker, which retains Asian distribution rights for the series, expects a solid stream of revenue from the sale of books, videos and CD-ROMs that will accompany the series.

Coming into China, Becker — which has significant production and distribution interests in Southeast Asia — follows rival group Southern Star, which has produced three kidvid series with Shanghai Animation Studios, CCTV and Shanghai Film Studios.

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