Entertainment portal LeTV signs deal to screen CBS shows in Hong Kong
Shows including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Fear Factor and Criss Angel will be screened at no extra cost to subscribers of ambitious Chinese company's service
Chinese entertainment portal LeTV is expanding its international programming by streaming content of two new RTL CBS channels: Entertainment HD and Extreme HD. Popular TV programmes such as Limitless, Elementary, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Criss Angel, Fear Factor and Hawaii Five-O are now available to subscribers, including those in Hong Kong, at no extra charge. The additions bring to 16 the number of channels LeTV is offering.
LeTV’s chief executive for Asia-Pacific, Mok Chui-tin, said the collaboration with entertainment channel RTL CBS “enriches our content platform and marks a remarkable milestone in our expansion”.
Last month, the Chinese internet company announced it had secured the rights to broadcast the next three seasons of English Premier League soccer matches (for a reported US$400 million) via Now TV’s network. LeTV has to collaborate with local internet or broadband service providers – such as PCCW’s Netvigator and Hong Kong Broadband Network – to stream its content to the Hong Kong audience either through the web or set-top boxes.
The company launched its Hong Kong service last year by selling its 50-inch 4K television sets. It hopes to become one of the top three Hong Kong pay-TV services in a market dominated by i-Cable and Now TV. LeTV.com says it currently offers subscribers more than 100,000 episodes of TV dramas and more than 5,000 film titles. The site receives, according to the company, an estimated 250 million page views per day, and has 350 million users per month, 100 million daily content viewers on mobile devices, and 10 million daily content viewers on large-screen TVs.
Founded by Jia Yueting in 2004, LeTV Group is one of the fastest-growing online platforms in China, with LeTV.com listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in August, 2010. The current market value of LeTV is reported to be an estimated 130 billion yuan (HK$160 billion). Its subsidiary Le Vision Pictures, together with state-owned China Films, is co-producing The Great Wall, a US$135 million fantasy epic, with Hollywood’s Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures and Atlas Entertainment. The film is being touted as the most expensive Chinese movie to be distributed globally.