New York to learn about China through free digital TV channel

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 January, 2012, 12:00am


Beijing hopes to capture the attention of TV audiences in New York with a news and entertainment channel aimed at boosting China's image abroad.

The 24-hour free-to-air digital channel, named 'Today China', will be beamed into New York homes by the first quarter of this year, according to the China Internet Information Centre. Yan Xinxia, a director at the centre, which falls under the control of the State Council, or mainland cabinet, said: 'Our role is to propagate information about China overseas.'

The programmes will be aired on the channel in New York owned by the Hong Kong-listed company CMMB Vision Holdings, a developer of mobile television and interactive multimedia businesses based on the China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting (CMMB) standard.

The channel will feature China-related news and entertainment content in both English and Chinese with English subtitles, according to CMMB Vision's chairman, Charles Wong. The China Internet Information Centre and CMMB Vision will also team up to provide video programmes for mobile-phone users in New York, as well as a 'Today China' website ( to be available worldwide.

The mobile video service, built on the CMMB platform, will enable users to view programmes on compatible mobile telephones and portable multimedia devices.

CMMB is China's standard for delivering data-intensive video and internet programs to mobile devices. The standard was developed by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, which regulates the mainland broadcasting industry.

CMMB Vision has built a network in New York and plans to extend it into other parts of the US if the mobile video service proves a success.

Wong said the new service could generate profits for the company this year. 'The TV service is free but there will be commercial slots. I am sure Chinese enterprises eyeing the overseas market will have an interest in advertising on our platform,' Wong said. The company was already in discussion with some advertisers in Hong Kong, he said.

Operating costs for the new channel will be low, as programmes will be provided by the China Internet Information Centre, Wong said.