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Published on : Jun 16, 2014

Television producers in China are eyeing a larger global audience following a touch policy change that has been effected in the country. The industry is likely to experience heavy financial pressure as - according to a new rule that will come into force in 2015 - the number of domestic channels on which Chinese producers can broadcast a TV program will be brought down to two domestic satellite channels from the current four. In that backdrop, the 20th Shanghai TV Festival saw heated discussions about how Chinese TV can be developed in a manner that is appealing to the global audience. The Shanghai TV Festival ended on Friday, June 13. 

According to He Xiaolan, the president of WingsMedia, the West Asian market presents a huge untapped potential for Chinese television producers. In He’s words, they only realized this after they attended a TV festival in Turkey, earlier in March 2014. He said that Chinese producers sold a number of television programs to West Asia buyers during this festival, with the combined worth of the programs being USD 960,000. 

Among shows that enjoyed immense popularity were a Chinese documentary series titled ‘A Bite of China’, as well as a dating program titled ‘Pick One from a Hundred.’ According to Li Lei, who manages the overseas markets of WingsMedia, foreign buyers are primarily interested in Chinese costume dramas and television shows that are kung fu-centric. However, with changing preferences of global viewers, TV producers in China are realizing that documentaries that offer a glimpse of modern Chinese life have encouraging potential.