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New media compete with CCTV-5 at Asian Cup broadcasting

By Lanxiong Sports, translation by Yutang Sports 23 Jan 2015

As Chinese new media emerged and becomes stronger, CCTV-5 is no longer the absolute NO.1 in sports broadcasting in China. A transformation is on the way in Chinese sports broadcasting. 

One person in Chinese sports broadcasting is very famous and if anyone claims that s/he has some knowledge of the Chinese sports broadcasting, s/he must have heard of this man. Liu Jianhong, the former commentator at CCTV-5, and the present chief content officer at Letv Sports, was at Australia with his team from Letv, reporting the Asian Cup. 

Letv Sports is just one of a few new media companies that bought broadcasting rights of the AFC Asian Cup this year. These companies include major websites like Sina and Sohu, and specialized media such as Letv and PPTV. These new players sent strong teams to Australia, and produce their own reports. Letv sent a 15-people team, Letv Sports 12 people, Sina almost 20 people, Sohu and Tencent both 10 people, and others such as PPTV and ifeng all sent around 10 staffs there. 

Apart from the front teams, these companies also invited many famous people in the sports world to be show guests or commenting guests. The rosters were very impressive, even more appealing than CCTV-5, according to Lanxiong Sports. 

CCTV also put much focus on this game. Jiang Heping, the director of CCTV-5 told Lanxiong Sports that they had a reporting team of 50 staffs at Australia, which is the same with the World Cup. Jiang said that within the sports broadcasts field many competitors emerged, but that CCTV-5 still had dominance. 

As the technology of online streaming improves, these new media platforms have gained advantage for sports events broadcasting, because people in China start to use mobile devices more frequently to watch videos, rather than TVs. These platforms also have the advantage of producing more interesting and diversified content when they are compared with traditional TV stations. 

“The number of people watching Asian Cup on TV was 170 million people by 17 January.” Jiang Heping said. “The total number of audience for the World Cup last year was merely 600 million.”

As to the commercial ads, a majority of them were still on CCTV— around 70% or 80%. The influence of the audience transition on ads was not very quick or obvious, but as the trend continues, ads would surely move toward the new media platform in the future. 

As a conclusion, in the short term, the dominance of CCTV in the sports broadcasting field in China would not be eliminated very soon, but a more diversified market is sure to be. 

This is an edited and abridged translation of the original article. 

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