A state-level media holding company begins operations on Thursday, as Beijing consolidates national television, radio, film and network units, according to officials. The reorganisation would see China's flagship television and two radio station operators as well as national feature film production and network units coming under one organisation, instead of being separately held by the state, an official at the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) said yesterday. The name of the media group will be revealed on December 6. It will be headed by Xu Guangchun, the Sarft director-general. The overhaul means Sarft, which is the industry regulator and the owner of state-run media assets, will separate government functions and business. The move is expected to be completed this month. It is part of the government's policy of separating government functions from business to create fairer competition and increase efficiency. Among the assets in the new firm are the mainland's top broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) and two state-run radio networks - China National Radio and China Radio International. They are owned and regulated by Sarft. Also part of the assets are Sarft-backed China Film Group, a holding company controlling more than 10 national feature film production companies, and a planned fibre-optic network for the transmission of cable television. The network is a Sarft-ordered project planned to link provincial and municipal cable television networks. Analysts said the new holding company, which would have cable television networks, was set to pose a serious threat to the country's telecommunications carriers when cable operators are given permission to offer broadband and telecoms services. They said it would be highly likely Beijing would give the green light to cable television operators in view of the worldwide amalgamation of the telecoms, Internet and cable television sectors. However, they expect the new company would take some time to consolidate operations due to wrangling within the government body. Some expected it to be five years before it ran smoothly. The latest state-level consolidation follows similar moves in Hunan, Zhejiang, Shandong and Guangdong provinces, and the cities of Shanghai and Beijing.