TV in China


Having provided quality market analysis and recommendations to TV companies such as Constantin and Plazamedia in the past, MFC is in an excellent position to connect with TV institutions at the highest levels.

In this insight, the structure and TV market of China in the year 2007 is analysed.


  1. Cooperation with TV channels in China
  2. TV in China
    I. Structure of China’s TV System
    II. TV Market Development
    III. China Central Television (CCTV)
    IV. Other Channels
    V. Top Ten TV Viewership Figures, February 2007

1. Cooperation with TV Channels in China

In the past, MFC has cooperated with top-level officials at CCTV, China’s state TV channel. Here, management-level meetings and discussions were arranged with a view to future cooperation. Through our own contacts and media relations partners, we are also able to reach out to municipal and provincial TV stations such as BTV (Beijing TV) and Shanghai TV. Close relationships with producers and suppliers allow us to target specific TV stations and formats in order to deliver great cooperation results.

2. TV in China

I. Structure of China’s TV System

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) supervises the TV industry across China. Accordingly, in each province there is a “Provincial Administration of Radio, Film and Television” which oversees the provincial TV stations. There is also similar governmental control at the municipal level. At state level, there are CCTV and China Educational TV station. For each province, there is one satellite channel and one or more terrestrial channels. Medium- to large-sized cities have their own municipal channels.

II. TV Market Development

Presently, China has around 370 million TV sets and TV audience coverage exceeds 95% of the population. China’s total advertisement market revenue in 2006 was RMB 387 billion (approx € 39 billion), with TV advertising accounting for 81%.

In 2006, the total number of TV viewers covered 95% of China’s population; of which 139 million households had access to cable TV, and 12.5 million households used digital TV. Digital TV viewership is expected to increase to 128 million by 2010.

The government encourages the development of pay TV channels, of which there are now around 200. These channels provide the audience with a new platform for TV programs. At state level, there are China Central Television (CCTV) and China Educational Television (CETV) with 16 channels and 3 channels respectively. At provincial level, there are 32 satellite channels and more than 100 regular channels. Presently, China has more than 2,000 city TV channels.

Entry into the China TV market is still quite limited with many restrictions to foreign players regarding program production and distribution.

III. China Central Television (CCTV)

At present, CCTV has one main channel and 15 specialized channels. All TV stations in China lie directly under the supervision of SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film and TV). Because of CCTV’s special position as the main state TV organ, the possible negative influence of its programs is carefully observed and evaluated.

IV. Other Channels

Because development levels of provincial and city TV stations vary, and the audiences in different regions have different lifestyles and cultural backgrounds, the ratings for different programs vary geographically. Generally, people in the Northwest and Northeast of China, where local TV stations are relatively weak, tend to watch more programs on CCTV. Conversely, people in the south prefer to watch provincial and city TV channels. The top ten viewership percentages for February 2007 can be found in the following lists.

V. Top Ten TV Viewership Figures, February 2007


1CCTV Spring Festival PartyCCTV28.4%
2Weather ReportBTV 117.2%
3Beijing and Hong Kong New Spring Unity CelebrationBTV 19.4%
4Beijing NewsBTV 18.9%
5Year on Year – New Year ReportCCTV8.7%
6100 Flowers Literary Spring Festival CelebrationCCTV 37.4%
7A night with the starsCCTV 27.2%
8Treasure HuntCCTV 67.0%
9Central News rebroadcastBTV 16.9%
10Legal News reportBTV 36.6%
(BTV – Beijing TV)


1CCTV Spring Festival PartyCCTV22.4%
230 Minutes of GoldSichuan TV 25.6%
3Secret ServiceCTV 44.4%
4Zhen Guan Chang Songs (9-40)CCTV4.2%
5Unveiling Ceremony: Chengdu – China’s best travel cityCTV 14.1%
6100 Flowers Literary Spring Festival CelebrationCCTV 34.1%
7Happy 21Sichuan TV 24.0%
8Extraordinary TopicsSichuan TV 23.9%
9Special New Year Celebration ReportCCTV 33.9%
10“One Song Together” Performance showCCTV 33.8%
(CTV – Chengdu TV)


1“Break the Siege” TV seriesJadeite TV23.2%
2“Ten Brothers” TV seriesJadeite TV18.9%
3“Marriage for Fortune”Jadeite TV18.5%
4Guangzhou Spring Festival CelebrationGTV16.7%
5“Fighting to be the Master” TV seriesJadeite TV14.5%
6Roomful of GuestsJadeite TV13.5%
7Women’s Kitchen Spring Festival PartyJadeite TV13.0%
8“Xue Ren Gui” Tv SeriesGTV12.1%
9Serious Legal CasesJadeite TV11.8%
10Local Groom, Foreign BrideGuangdong TV11.7%
(GTV – Guangzhou TV)


1CCTV Spring Festival PartyCCTV14.3%
2News InsightSTV10.3%
3News ReportSTV9.6%
4In the AudienceSTV8.6%
5“Nursemaid” TV SeriesSTV7.9%
6East 110STV7.6%
7“The New Shanghai Shores” TV SeriesSTV7.5%
9Weather ReportSTV7.4%
10“Stepfather” TV SeriesSTV7.3%
(STV – Shanghai TV)

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