Chinese TV agency eyes Hong Kong outlet

HONG KONG — Following the handover to China, Hong Kong may get its own branch of the China TV Program Agency, which controls mainland television programming, an agency boss told Daily Variety.

“I wish our company would open an office in Hong Kong,” said agency deputy manager Xi Bing, on his first visit to the colony as an exhibitor at Filmart, the Hong Kong Intl. Film Market. “Then we could expand our market. We have thousands of hours of programming. From here we could go to the whole world.”

The state-run company controls programming for eight China Central Television channels, satellite channels, cable channels and overseas distribution.

He estimated that 800 million of China’s 1.2 billion people have access to about 200 million television sets. He said there are 600 national, regional and local stations, as well as 1,200 cable TV channels and another 1,200 run by government departments or institutions.

These stations air about 10,000 hours of programming each year, and local producers meet 80% of the demand.

Despite market reforms of the past few years, foreigners looking to get into the market still have to deal with the agency. “They must study the Chinese television market more,” Xi said.

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