China rolls cable TV operators into national group

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BEIJING--China will set up a national corporation to bring together under one roof all the cable TV networks in the country. The government has drafted the scheme to improve efficiency in the broadcasting business, according to the State Administration of Radio, Film & Television.

A new company will be set up to carry out the plan by the end of this year. "The move is in preparation for the country's pending entry into the World Trade Organization," the administration's director, Xu Guangchun was quoted as saying by China Daily.

China has thousands of cable operators which reach 90% of the country's 1.2 billion population via more than three million kilometers of cable. Most urban Chinese families can receive a number of cable TV channels for a monthly service charge of between 97 cents and $1.45.

State-owned China Central Television has a monopoly on terrestrial broadcasting.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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