Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chinese New Year's Webcast To Include Social Features

Chinese New Year's Webcast To Include Social Features

by Erik Sass, Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007 6:00 AM ET


VIEWERS WHO WATCH THE CHINESE New Year's gala online on Feb. 17 will be able to chat with friends and strangers about the proceedings, post comments on blogs, and rate performances in a "social TV" setting at two Web sites, SocialTV.MediaZone.com and www.ChinaPortal.com.  


"The social aspect is intended to create a social network and drive community around the channels and sub-channels," said a MediaZone spokesperson. The event is available as MediaZone pay-per-view for $19.90.


In addition to text, banner, and streaming video ads on the MediaZone site, online viewers will be exposed to traditional TV ads that appear as part of the CCTV broadcast. MediaZone announced in January that it struck a deal with CCTV, China's state-run broadcaster, to rebroadcast content from two channels, CCTV 4 and CCTV 9.


This year's show is said to have attracted a record-breaking $62.5 million in TV advertising. Each year the gala, produced by China Central Television in Beijing, attracts about 700 million viewers around the world with a mix of music, choreographed dances including the traditional Lion Dance, stunts and acrobatic displays. China's top political figures and celebrities are sometimes in the audience (last year Jiang Zemin watched the show from the leadership balcony at Tiananmen square).


The Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) is the most important celebration in Chinese culture, when families are supposed to come together for an elaborate dinner banquet. Given financial and geographic obstacles, however, the social functions provided with MediaZone's streaming broadcast may be an acceptable second-best for emigrants willing to pay the pay-per-view fee.




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