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TW’s seeking China TV deal

Media companies center on Far East as gov opens industry

Time Warner is in talks with China Central Television and state-owned Shanghai Media Group and aims to have agreements signed by next year.

“This is probably the best way to get into this market,” Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons said in Beijing on Monday. “We have the content and the expertise that would be helpful in developing the local TV industry.”

Media companies are trying to gain greater access to the world’s biggest TV market (ranked by viewers) and a print and TV advertising market valued at an estimated $24 billion, as China’s government opens its media industry to overseas investors.

Viacom last month said its cable network Nickelodeon would start broadcasting programs in China as part of its plan to reach children in 100 million Chinese households.

Nick’s venture with Shanghai Media Group will air 25 hours of programs a week to 3.5 million households in Shanghai, according to Bill Roedy, vice chairman of Viacom’s MTV Networks division. The programs will be syndicated to 30 other children’s channels across the country.