SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- MTV Networks Asia, one of the few foreign broadcasters to gain approval to air its programming in mainland China, is expanding there with the appointment of Huang Ping. The News Corp. veteran moves to Viacom in a new position based in Shanghai as senior VP and general manager of MTV China.
Mr. Huang, 44, will manage the programming, production, creative, digital media and marketing departments of the music and entertainment channel in China. Reporting to Mei Yan, the media company's managing director, China, he also will develop the network's partnerships with local media companies like China Central Television (CCTV) and expand its mobile and internet presence in China.
Previously, Mr. Huang was VP, China content for Star Group in China. He was responsible for content and sales integration, programs, and representing Star's China's programming interests with regulators and terrestrial broadcasters.
Before that, he led the daily operations of Star's Xing Kong Wei Shi and Channel [V] channels. He joined Star in 2003 as director of government affairs. Before that, he was deputy channel director for Shanghai Broadcast Network.
In April 2003, MTV became the first global media brand permitted by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) to launch a 24-hour channel in mainland China. MTV China now reaches over 14 million homes in Guangdong, including Hong Kong, as well as ihotels and residential compounds frequented by foreigners.
Even though the Chinese government has only allowed MTV official access to a small but affluent region in southern China, the company's success in the mainland -- the envy of many foreign broadcasters -- can be partly attributed to the nature of its content. MTV steers clear of news and politics as well as content aimed at very young children, areas that are carefully restricted.
"China is a very regulated market, especially for foreign media players, but there is always potential and possibilities for foreign channels like MTV. The market is growing quite fast and the demand for entertainment and content is huge," Mr. Huang said. "We see our opportunities as more cooperation with local players like CCTV and Shanghai Media Group, local telecommunications players and local online partners."
Original productions co-produced with Chinese broadcasters like CCTV, Shanghai Media Group and Beijing TV are seen in over 156 million households across the country, where MTV is well-known for television shows like MTV Tian Lai Cun, MTV Countdown Show, Stage and Mega Star and televised specials such as CCTV-MTV Music Honors and MTV Style Gala.
MTV has also made inroads in multiplatform content. In 2005, for example, it launched MTV Music Zone, a subscription-based music service on China Mobile's Monternet music platform.
Earlier this month, MTV began cooperating with Kaixin001.com, a social networking site with over 40 million users. The partnership will include a marketing campaign called "MTV Zhen" to communicate its commitment to Chinese music and local musicians through the site. (Zhen means "true" and "genuine" in Mandarin.) The campaign was created by MTV staff in China and Singapore.
"We opened our community on Kaixin two weeks ago, and already have more than 100,000 registered users there. Through this, we can leverage MTV content and some local original programs to internet users, especially our core target audience, 15-to-28 year-olds, which are very active on the internet," Mr. Huang said. "We are looking at opportunities with local advertisers, especially those with products aimed at young consumers like sportswear, food and beverages."
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