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China to Open Sky to Foreign TV broadcasting

China News Digest, 24 October 2001

[CND, 10/24/01] China's broadcasting regulation authority will soon allow more foreign TV services to operate inside the mainland, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Monday, quoting LIU Changle, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Television.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and AOL Time Warner will soon start cable services in selected areas in the Guangdong province, Liu said. This will mark the first time China opens up its media market to foreign broadcasters, just before the country's entry into the World Trade Organization.

A massive influx of foreign television broadcasters, however, is ruled out by Mr. Liu. Instead, he predicts China will open up gradually.

Reciprocally, the foreign broadcasters that have been allowed to operate in China will have to provide distribution rights to China's state-owned CCTV network, the SCMP reported. (Kenneth Xian)