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China state broadcaster sees record ad auction
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Nov 19, 2012

China's main state broadcaster has raised a record 15.88 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) from selling prime-time advertising spots for next year, state media said Monday.

Revenue from the closely-watched auction by China Central Television (CCTV) grew more than 11 percent from a similar auction for 2012, the Global Times newspaper reported.

Analysts described the results as encouraging amid a slowdown in China's overall economy.

"We see this result solid and better than most feared, providing good sentiment on 2013 ad spend outlook," investment bank J.P. Morgan said in a research note on Monday.

The results also highlighted the state broadcaster's dominant position despite the growth of social media and the rise of local television stations which have captured viewers with more entertaining programming, analysts said.

"CCTV's leading position in the sector will remain unchallenged in the next two to three years," the Global Times quoted Zheng Xueqin of the independent China Brand Research Institute as saying.

"But after that the market will surely become less concentrated."

Big spenders for next year included home appliance giant GOME and spirit makers Wuliangye Group and Kweichow Moutai Co., paying a total of more than 1.0 billion yuan for spots during the evening news, the newspaper said.

Last year's auction reaped 14.25 billion yuan for CCTV.

CCTV is planning to list its website as part of a group of domestic listings by state-owned media giants, reports say.

Since the 1990s, China has been pushing state-owned media to stop relying on government handouts and become profitable through subscriptions and advertising, but competition has become even fiercer with the Internet.

Social media, such as microblogs similar to Twitter, as well as online news offerings, likes the website operated by Chinese Internet giant Sina, are challenging the staid state media for viewers.


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