Channel goes wide from Jan. 23

BEIJING — China, the world’s biggest TV market, marked the New Year with a trial run of its first 3D TV service, which will go wide for the Lunar New Year on Jan. 23.

The service, called China 3D TV Trial Channel, is jointly operated by pubcaster CCTV and local TV stations in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Shenzhen.

Programming will initially focus on performing arts, cartoons, movies and sports. It also promises programming from the London Summer Olympics, which run July 27 to Aug. 12.

It broadcasts daily from 10.30 a.m. to midnight.

The service could provide opportunities for overseas content providers because, while China’s TV industry has expanded dramatically in recent years, it still needs overseas content to fill the schedules.

The total revenue of the country’s radio and TV industry was 210 billion yuan ($33 billion) in 2010, up 26% from a year before, according to research website sarft.net, operated by the powerful State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Tight restrictions on content makes it a difficult market to navigate however.

“The launch of the 3D trial channel is a significant step in the development of China’s television,” SARFT head Cai Fuchao told the Xinhua news agency.

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