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CNTV Won't Resell 2012 Olympics Broadcast Rights

21st Century Business Herald, 9/29/11

Xia Xiaohui, deputy general manager of CCTV's national online TV station, China Network TV (CNTV), said that CNTV would not sell live or on-demand new media broadcasting rights for the 2012 London Olympic Games to any other portals or video sites. The coverage - some 4,000 hours in all - will be available for live and on-demand streaming only through the CNTV website. CNTV's new media broadcast rights include online video, mobile television, IPTV, and out-of-home displays, including airplane, subway, and bus displays. Any use of London 2012 coverage in mobile operators' mobile newspapers or in outdoor media from AirMedia (Nasdaq: AMCN), Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN), VisionChina Media (Nasdaq: VISN), or other public transit media operators will constitute an infringement of CNTV's rights.

In 2008, CCTV spent RMB 100 mln - RMB 20 mln of which was for new media rights - for the right to re-sell rebroadcast rights to the Beijing Games, and subsequently licensed the rights to more than 10 Chinese internet companies including Sina (Nasdaq: SINA), Tencent (0700.HK), and Youku (NYSE: YOKU) to cover the games, for net profits of nearly RMB 400 mln. Xia did not say how much CNTV had paid for new media broadcast rights for the 2012 Games.

CNTV acquired exclusive Mainland China and Macau new media broadcast rights for next year's Summer Games in order to drive traffic to CNTV, Xia said. CNTV has already signed preliminary agreements with advertising clients in which CCTV International Networks, CNTV's operator, guarantees that it will not sell rebroadcast rights, ensuring that traffic will be driven to CNTV for the duration of the Games.

The rights CCTV sold to other portals and video sites in May 2008 covered only 2,200 hours of coverage, while CCTV International had rights to 4,000 hours of live coverage and highlights clips. During that period, however, - CNTV's predecessor - led internet traffic figures for only a few events, with most viewers preferring to follow the Beijing Games on Youku, Sina, and other sites.

Xia said that CNTV also had the rights to an additional 200 hours of event highlights for the 2012 Games, which it has yet to decide whether or not to sell to other portals and video sites. A spokesperson for Tudou (Nasdaq: TUDO) said that visits to online video sites were driven more by highlight coverage than by live and on-demand full coverage.

Keywords: wireless Internet IPTV television online video CCTV broadcasting rights Olympics CNTV Xia Xiaohui out-of-home display in-vehicle display mobile phone TV


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