Chinese TV Program

About Chinese TV Program

Chinese TV programChinese Central TV is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 19 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers. Most of its programmes are a mixture of documentary, comedy, entertainment and drama, the majority of which consists of Chinese soap operas and entertainment. This station is one of the official mouthpieces of the Chinese government, and reports directly to high-level officials in the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Central Propaganda Department.

CCTV aired its first programme on September 2, 1958, under the name Peking Television, after an experimental broadcast on May 1, 1958. On May 1 1973, Peking Television began its colour experimental broadcast in PAL-D system on its second channel on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The name was changed to CCTV on May 1, 1978. At the end of 1970s, it only broadcast evening programs, usually ending at midnight. During the summer and winter time, it occasionally broadcasted daytime programming for students (who were on vacation). In 1980, CCTV experimented with news relays from local and central television studios via microwave. By 1985, CCTV had already become a leading television network in China. In 1987, popularity of the CCTV was primed due to the faithful adaptation and presentation of Dream of the Red Chamber. This 36-episode TV series, the first Chinese television drama to enter the global market, is available on DVD and is still very popular. In the same year, CCTV had exported 10,216 programmes to 77 foreign television stations. Initially, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee issued directives as to what was appropriate for broadcasting and was not. During reform in the 1990s, the Party adopted new criteria for CCTV: "affordability" and "acceptability", loosening the previous central control.

Affordability refers to purchasing ability of programs, and acceptability requires that a programme has acceptable content, preventing broadcasts of material that are against the CPC, socialism or communism, or feature sexual or violent content. Like many media outlets in China, CCTV had its state subsidy reduced dramatically in the 1990s, and has since found it necessary to balance its role both as a government agency and commercial broadcaster. On September 2, 2008, the new CCTV Headquarters was opened on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of CCTV. Today, CCTV has 16 national channels, most of them aired around the clock - 24 hour a day, and a High Definition channel.