Shanghai Media Group readies English channel

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MUMBAI: Shanghai Media Group (SMG) is geared to set up China's second English-language satellite TV channel for foreign audiences.

The other being the national broadcaster China Central Television's CCTV-9. The official announcement was made on 11 November.

Media reports have quoted a company spokesperson as saying the group was awaiting approval for the new channel from China's media industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

The new channel has been titled 'Dragon International' and while clearance to broadcast within China appears to be a cinch, SMG is still hoping for government approval to broadcast to North America, where it would compete directly for viewers with CCTV-9.

CCTV-9, which launched in September 2000, was an attempt by the ruling Communist Party to present its views as a counter counter to foreign criticism of China's human rights record and lack of democracy. It began broadcasting in the United States in 2002 through an exchange agreement with News Corp.'s Star TV.

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