Raymond Cheng, chief operating officer of the upcoming U.S. China Film & TV Industry Expo, expressed optimism Monday that “Big Bang Theory” will be made available for streaming to Chinese audiences after the hit American comedy suddenly vanished in the region last month.
“I think it will be back on the air very soon,” said Cheng at the Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit. “I think there’s enough incentive to make it happen. The Chinese want to view that content and the studio, Warner Bros., wants the audience as well.
The CBS sitcom, along with a handful of other American shows, disappeared from Sohu, triggering concerns that the content may have been suppressed by the Chinese government because its popularity endangered the market share of native content in the region.
Cheng made the statement Monday in a Q&A with Variety senior editor Marc Graser, in which they discussed a range of subjects regarding the entertainment industry as it relates to U.S. and China.
Cheng cited the introduction of other American TV series in the marketplace, including “Game of Thrones” and “24,” as evidence of the growing opportunity. “Distributors and content providers only license $42 million to Chinese companies and I think there’s a lot of room for growth,” he said.
The Expo will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sept. 15-16.