Bidding raises 5.8b yuan with increased competition blamed for slower growth Intense competition in the advertising market has slowed revenue growth at China Central Television (CCTV) where an auction for next year's time slots fell short of its six billion yuan target. Bidding for the slots realised 5.8 billion yuan, representing growth of just 10.8 per cent - down on previous years' growth. CCTV blamed increased competition from rival television stations. 'The growth rate this year was the slowest in recent years, implying that advertisers are more cautious about putting all the budgets into CCTV only,' one media buyer said. This year, CCTV extended its auction for time slots from prime time to include specific programmes, such as the World Cup football tournament next summer. 'The new arrangement helps CCTV to tap into more advertising revenue as local satellite channels are becoming more aggressive in luring advertisers,' the media buyer said. He said the high ratings of local channels, such as Hunan Satellite Television, were enticing some existing CCTV advertisers to reallocate their budgets. According to Hunan Broadcasting System, which runs Hunan Satellite, the station generated about 600 million yuan in advertising revenue last year, ranking first among all satellite television stations on the mainland. The highest bid at CCTV's annual advertising conference held last Friday came from US-based Procter and Gamble which offered 394 million yuan. It was the second consecutive year the company had offered the highest bids at auction. The mainland's largest mobile phone operator China Mobile gained the title sponsorship for two World Cup programmes, including the World Cup Live and World Cup Top Score shows. The company paid 103 million yuan for the bids. An industry watcher said the successful bid for the World Cup sponsorship was short of target by about five million yuan.