Hunan TV HK launch is first move outside China
Rose Major

One of China’s up-and-coming broadcasters, Hunan TV, is expanding for the first time internationally. Although only launching in the special administrative region of Hong Kong, the launch represents an important first step outside home territory for China’s growing media sector.

Hunan TV World will launch on Hong Kong Cable Television (Cable TV) on May 20. The channel is largely entertainment-based with what the company said is “a full range of strong branding backup by Golden Eagle Broadcasting Group at its command”.

Named after the province where it originated, Hunan TV’s influence has extended beyond provincial boundaries to occupy the number two-rated channel spot behind CCTV. The channel further claims to be the top channel for the under-27s.

Programmes include long-lasting variety show Happy Base Camp which regularly invites Asian artistes as guests. Another programme, Super Girl, is the first public entertainment competition in China. The show has attracted over 300,000 ontestant applications in the three years since launch. It has also received over 60 million SMS votes and a viewership coverage of 400 million, the highest nationwide.

A Cable TV spokesperson said: "The high quality programmes of Hunan TV World such as "Super Girl", which has driven the wave of reality show popularity across the region, will be a welcome addition to the fabulous programming choices on Hong Kong Cable's platform."

One other Chinese broadcaster – Shanghai Media Group’s Dragon TV – also plans to launch international versions of its channel. So far, only state broadcaster CCTV has international feeds.