Australian sports show to air in China

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SYDNEY--Australian sporting prowess is opening the way for Australian marketers to tap into the Chinese market. A deal struck between government-run broadcaster Chinese Central Television (CCTV) and Brisbane-based company Bo Long International has paved the way for major Australian brands to advertise on Chinese TV.

Australian advertisers are being offered ad slots in and around a new TV program called World Sports. The new program focuses on Australian sports and is the brainchild of Bo Long Managing Director Donna Ho, who is the Brisbane-based daughter of Chinese shot-put hero David W Ho.

Ms. Ho says the idea for such a TV program began when CCTV approached her father to be the subject of an upcom-ing TV program that would also focus on his children living in Australia, including Ms. Ho.

"However, I saw it as an opportunity to show Chinese people the Australian lifestyle through Australians' love of sport," Ms. Ho says.

Starting in February, Sports World will air 26 weekly feature segments on Australian sport, to be produced by Bo Long and hosted by Ms. Ho. Sydney company Lucas Management has been given the rights to sell ad space to Australian companies.

Last year, Australia became the first western country to achieve ``approved destination'' status by the Chinese Government, opening the way to a boom in in-bound Chinese tourists to Australia.

Australia currently receives around 75,000 visitors from China annually, but that number is expected to explode to 500,000 by 2008. Ms. Ho says the expected influx of visitors from China adds to the potential value of Australian companies advertising on CCTV.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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