China bankrolls new cable TV operator to unify technology, integrate networks
Rebecca Hawkes
| 30 May 2014
China is seeking to consolidate its vast cable television network by establishing a national operator called China Broadcasting Network Ltd.

With a registered capital of ¥4.5 billion (US$728.48 million), China Broadcasting Network Ltd is expected to become the country's fourth largest cable network operator after China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

The company initially plans to integrate financially strapped local cable companies currently operating in central and western areas of the country, according to the China Daily.

Wang Xiaojie, head of the technology department with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), said it will focus on building a unified cable television network, setting up a common technology standard and helping to distribute content across different television stations.

The new company will promote triple-play services, combining cable TV, telecommunications and Internet, SAPPRFT said.

In 2010, the Chinese Government stated it planned to cut the number of cable networks, which are now estimated to run into hundreds, by introducing a national operator, however the operational plans had suffered delayed until this year.

China Broadcasting Network will reportedly run cable network construction companies, operation and maintenance, as well as related consultancy and technical research and development.

Zhao Jingchun, former bureau chief of Henan Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, is to be chairman.

China had 224 million cable TV viewers by 2013, of which three-quarters subscribed to digital cable services. China is expected to add 25 million cable viewers in the next three years, according to SAPPRFT.