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China Central Television

China Central Television
Type Television network,
Satellite television and
Cable television
Industry Television Broadcasting
Founded 2 September 1958
Headquarters China Central Television Headquarters, Beijing
Key people Hu Zhanfan (President)
Zhang Changming (Vice-President)
Products Television content, television programming
Operating income RMB 1.12 Billion
Employees 10,000
Parent State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television
Website .cn.cntvcctv
China Central Television
Simplified Chinese 中国中央电视台
Traditional Chinese 中國中央電視臺
Simplified Chinese 央视
Traditional Chinese 央視

China Central Television or Chinese Central Television, commonly abbreviated as CCTV, is the predominant state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 45 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers.[1] Most of its programmes are a mixture of documentary, comedy, entertainment, and drama, the majority of which consists of Chinese soap operas and entertainment.[2] CCTV has 45 TV channels (22 for free, 23 for pay-vision), the largest number of television subchannels in the world.


  • History 1
  • Organization 2
    • Management 2.1
  • China Network Television 3
  • Logo 4
    • Logo on screens 4.1
  • Programmes 5
  • Personalities 6
  • Channels 7
    • Public Channel 7.1
      • Free-To-Air 7.1.1
      • Cable 7.1.2
    • Pay Channels 7.2
    • Overseas Channels 7.3
  • Overseas broadcasting 8
  • Audience share 9
  • Criticism 10
    • Controversies 10.1
  • Incidents 11
    • 2009 fire 11.1
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


CCTV Peking (Beijing) Television (北京电视台) or China People's Television Network broadcast its first program on 2 September 1958. Due to increasing demands, it soon launched its second channel in 1963 and third channel in 1969. Starting from 1 May 1973, Peking Television began broadcasting experimentally in colour on its second channel every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday using the PAL-D system, and fully converted to colour broadcasting by 1977. The network changed its name to CCTV on 1 May 1978.[3]

Until the late 1970s, CCTV held only evening broadcasts, usually closing down at midnight. During the summer and winter academic vacations, it occasionally transmitted daytime programming for students. In 1980 CCTV experimented with news relays from local and central television studios via microwave.[4] By 1985, CCTV had already become a leading television network in China. In 1987 CCTV's popularity soared due to the adaptation and presentation of Dream of the Red Chamber. The 36-episode TV series—the first Chinese television drama to enter the global market—[5] still remains popular in the international market. In the same year, CCTV exported 10,216 programmes to 77 foreign television stations.[5]

Initially, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee issued directive censorship of programs. During reform in the 1990s, the Party adopted new standards for CCTV, "affordability" and "acceptability", loosening the previous government control.[6] Affordability refers to purchasing ability of programs, while acceptability requires that a programme has acceptable content, preventing broadcasts of material that contains inappropriate content or holds against the Communist Party of China.[7]

On 2 September 2008 the new CCTV Headquarters was opened on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of CCTV.

In July 2009 CCTV expanded its coverage and target audience by launching CCTV-العربية, its international channel in Arabic language.[8]

Today, CCTV has 24 channels, most of them airing 24 hours a day. On 17 June 2013, CCTV announce General channel, News channel, and other 24 public channels starting broadcast on the new site of CCTV.


China Central Television falls under the supervision of the

  • CCTV-E (Spanish)
  • CCTV-F (French)
  • CCTV-Arabic (Arabic)
  • CCTV-Pусский (Russian)
  • CCTV News Channel Site (Chinese)
  • CTV Golden Bridge (Chinese)
  • CCTV Ident
  • CCTV Live Site (Chinese)
  • CCTV Official Site (Chinese)
  • CCTV-News

External links

  1. ^ Olympics Are Ratings Bonanza for Chinese TV, NYT
  2. ^ a b c Anne-Marie Brady, Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  3. ^ "About us",, 08-05-2003
  4. ^ Miller, T. (2003). Television: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-25502-8.
  5. ^ a b Kops, M. & Ollig, S. Internationalization of the Chinese TV Sector. LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster, 2007. pp. 33. ISBN 978-3-8258-0753-5.
  6. ^ Kops & Ollig, pp. 34.
  7. ^ Kops & Ollig, pp. 35.
  8. ^ "About Chinese pragmatism"
  9. ^ a b CCTV: One Network, 1.2 Billion Viewers, Adweek, 5 February 2007.
  10. ^ Li, J. & Lee, C. (2000). Power, Money, and Media: Communication Patterns and Bureaucratic Control in Cultural China. Northwestern University Press. ISBN 978-0-8101-1787-7.
  11. ^ a b c Bandurski, David, "Goebbels in China?", China Media Project of University of Hong Kong, 2011-12-05. Includes partial translation of "official media" report from Chinese. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  12. ^ a b Osnos, Evan, "The Pentagon Papers, the Press, and Beijing", The New Yorker blog, December, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  13. ^ Logos of major television stations in China
  14. ^ 央视台标之争:文化自尊还是法律问题
  15. ^ 北京电视台(中央电视台前身)正式开播
  16. ^ Beijing Television (1973). "毛主席会见蓬皮杜总统 (Mao Zedong meets France President Pompidou)". 
  17. ^ June 4, 1989Xinwen Lianbo on YouTube
  18. ^ CCTV-1 program clip in 1991
  19. ^ CCTV-1 program clip in 1991
  20. ^ CCTV-1 program clip in 1992
  21. ^ 北京申奥成功 (Beijing bids Olympics successfully) on YouTube
  22. ^ Beijing Times (2011). 中央电视台2011年全面更换台标. Sina. 
  23. ^ The Chinese Media: More Autonomous and Diverse—Within Limits, CIA.
  24. ^ CCTV to revamp flagship news program, China Daily, 10 June 2009
  25. ^ Shirk, S. L. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 978-0-19-530609-5.
  26. ^ 'Green Dragon' fires up Chinese hopes, Irish Times, 14 February 2009.
  27. ^ a b Latham, K. Pop Culture China!: Media, Arts, and Lifestyle. ABC-CLIO, 2007. pp.60 ISBN 978-1-85109-582-7.
  28. ^
  29. ^ CCTV Global Television Service Satellite Specification CCTV-News, 02-21-2010,
  30. ^ CCTV launches Arabic international channel –
  31. ^ CCTV launches Arabic channel – asiaone News, 25 July 2009.
  32. ^ Bristow, Michael (25 July 2009). China launches Arabic TV channel. BBC News.
  33. ^ China's TV audience passes 1.2 billion, Advertising Age, 9 January 2008.
  34. ^ China Mass Media Announces Third Quarter 2008 Unaudited Financial Results. Forbes, 24 November 2008.
  35. ^ Li, J. & Lee, C. Chinese Media, Global Contexts: Global Contexts. Routledge, 2003. pp. 168. ISBN 978-0-415-30334-7.
  36. ^ Yuan, Elaine J. (2008). Diversity of exposure in television viewing: audience fragmentation and polarization in Guangzhou Chinese Journal of Communication 1:1, 91 – 108.
  37. ^ Wang, J. Brand New China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture. Harvard University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-674-02680-3.
  38. ^ China TV faces propaganda charge, BBC News, 12 January 2009.
  39. ^ 'Boycott state media' call, The Straits Times, 14 January 2009.
  40. ^ Ying Zhu, "The Inside Story of When China's State-Run TV Criticized the Party", the Atlantic web site, accessed June 2012
  41. ^  , forthcoming October 2012
  42. ^ "央视批评谷歌 反而引火烧身".  
  43. ^ "Officers of State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television". 
  44. ^ 女生上"新闻联播"称网页很黄很暴力遭恶搞 (in Chinese).  
  45. ^ Kuso events caused by “very erotic very violent", on 7 January 2008, Yangtze Evening News
  46. ^ "Interviewed girl got kusoed who said internet is very erotic very violent". New Express. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  47. ^ "10 very erotic very violent websites". Nings. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  48. ^ "guess who's the real body of very erotic very violent according to the primary student".  
  50. ^ "A primary school girl: webpages are very erotic very violent".  
  51. ^ "CCTV Tries to Pass Off 'Top Gun' Clip as Real?".  
  52. ^ "" 央視新聞疑用美國電影畫面. Retrieved on 2010-02-02.
  53. ^ 利比亚反对派举中文标语“卡扎菲是说谎者”
  54. ^ a b Langfitt, Frank, "In China, Curious Case Of Fraud Grows Stranger Still", All Things Considered, NPR, 4 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  55. ^ Gao Yu, Wang Shanshan, et al., "Da Vinci Says CCTV Reporter Blackmailed Company", Caixan, 01.04.2012 19:44. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  56. ^ a b Jacobs, Andrew (9 February 2009). "Fire Ravages Renowned Building in Beijing". New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  57. ^ Jacobs, Andrew (9 February 2009). "Fire Ravages Renowned Building in Beijing". New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  58. ^ Beijing fire evokes mixed reactions, Financial Times, 13 February 2009.
  59. ^ Credibility of CCTV tarnished by big fire, The Malaysian Insider, 16 February 2009.


See also

On 25 February 2013, all of the CCTV channels replaced by New CCTV channels which are completed repair by the end of 2012.

Project after the fire

The fire had implications for the credibility of CCTV, which was already unpopular because of its dominance in the media.[58] The incident was mocked by netizens who reproduced Photoshopped photos of the fire and criticised CCTV for censoring coverage. Pictures of the fire are widely distributed on the internet, as a result of citizen journalism.[59]

On 9 February 2009, the Beijing Television Cultural Center caught fire on the last day of the festivities of Chinese New Year, killing one firefighter.[56] The blaze rendered the 42-story structure unusable, as the zinc and titanium alloy of the outer skin was burnt.[57] The Mandarin Oriental Hotel was destroyed before its expected 2009 opening.[56]

2009 fire


  • In mid-2011 on CCTV, reporter Li Wenxue asserted that Da Vinci Furniture of Shanghai was falsely labeling Chinese-made furniture as imported from Italy. At the end of the year, "Shanghai's industry and commerce bureau fined Da Vinci more than $200,000 last week for what it called substandard furniture",[54] though in August, "the Shanghai Administration of Industry and Commerce ... cleared Da Vinci of any wrongdoing on its Italian product labeling". Also, Da Vinci produced a tape and bank records to back its assertion that it had paid 1 million yuan ($150,000), via a public relations broker, to Li to stop any further negative reports by CCTV.[55] Li said the claim is "slander" and CCTV made no comment. Zhang Zhi'an, an associate journalism professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou said, "I think CCTV has too much power", contrasting the Da Vinci case with extortion attempts by journalists at smaller media outlets. Liam Bussell, Asia-Pacific strategic marketing manager for Mintel in Shanghai, said in part, "Da Vinci's definitely done something". Also, "[g]iven the corruption in Chinese media and the volume of counterfeit products in the country, Bussell sa[id] it's often hard to find someone in these disputes who's totally clean".[54]
  • During the coalition's military intervention in Libya in 2011, reports from CCTV tended to support Gaddafi's arguments, claiming that the coalition forces attacked Libya civilians and the military intervention was no different from an invasion. In some of the news reports, CCTV used pictures of protesters demonstration and said that these people were against the coalition's military intervention. CCTV also mislabeled a person holding a banner which said "Vive la France" ("long live France" in French) and claimed that he was a supporter of Gaddafi. Later in 27 March, a Chinese banner that said "Muammar Gaddafi is a lier. [sic]" was shown up in some Libyan demonstration videos from Internet.[53]
  • In 2011, new CCTV head Zhanfan "was found to have proclaimed in July [or January,[11] both before the CCTV appointment in November] that journalists’ foremost responsibility is to 'be a good mouthpiece'"[12] (当好喉舌工具). Internet posts of the comment blossomed after the appointment, one "juxtapos[ing] CCTV’s ... Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播) and photos of Chinese crowds waving red flags with black-and-white images from Nazi-era Germany". Comparisons with the Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels (gepei’er (戈培尔)) also spread. Official media coverage of the Zhanfan's presentation focused on his call to avoid "fake news and false reports (失实报道)" but also incorporated the "mouthpiece" comment.[11]
  • On 23 January 2011 the CCTV news program Xinwen Lianbo showcased the Chengdu J-10 in the air by firing a missile at an airplane, the target plane then exploded. This footage lasted half a second and the destroyed airplane shown was later identified as that of an F-5E, US fighter jet. It turns out the clip was taken from the 1986 US movie Top Gun.[51][52]
  • On 27 December 2007, Xinwen Lianbo aired a report about the wide and easy availability of explicit content on the internet. The report appealed to juristic institutions and government to hurry to make relevant legislation in order to purify the internet environment. In the report, a young student described a pop-up advertisement she saw as being "very erotic very violent".[43] After the airing of the report, many parodies were posted by internet users ridiculing the comment and CCTV's credibility in part.[44] The incident also questioned the reliability of Xinwen Lianbo, noting the unlikelihood of a web page being both violent and erotic at the same time (even though such pages do exist), and the age of the student interviewed. Personal information of the interviewed girl was later also leaked, identifying the girl in the report by name.[45] Online message boards were populated by large threads about the incident,[46] and a satirical work even stated that CCTV's website was the number one "very erotic very violent" website on the internet,[47] with some users even creating their own toplists of sites which meet these criteria,[48] the "top 8 very erotic very violent sports events"[49] and even identifying things that are yellow as being erotic (since 黄, huáng, the Mandarin character for "yellow", also means "erotic").[50]


In China, CCTV has been ironed "CCAV" (China Central Adult Video) by Chinese netizens.[42]

A recent study done by the observer of Chinese film and television, Ying Zhu, suggests that “CCTV is full of serious-minded creators who regularly experience bouts of self-doubt, philosophical ambivalence, and in some cases, clinical depression.” During her extensive interviews with key CCTV players, Zhu notes that “Certain common themes, about ideals distorted or altogether thwarted by commercial and political pressure, emerged.” [40] [41]

Brady says that while the channel's equipment is state-of-the-art, the employees are not well trained in how to use it, so there are frequent errors during broadcast. "The political controls on the station contribute to a general low level of morale and initiative among station staff," she writes.[2]

Journalists working for CCTV-NEWS, the network's English-language international channel, are under constant pressure to present a positive account of China, according to Anne-Marie Brady's study published in 2008. "In August 2005, a series of items reported factually on coal mining disaster in China; soon after the channel's leaders received a warning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that its reports were harming China's international image. Following this incident, senior editorial staff and journalists were all forced to write self-criticisms."[2]

The network's principal directors and other officers are appointed by the State, and so are the top officials at local conventional television stations in mainland China; nearly all of them are restricted to broadcasting within their own province or municipality. Editorial independence is subject to government policy considerations, and as a result, it has been charged with being "propaganda aimed at brainwashing the audience" in its history and news programmes in a letter written by a number of Chinese intellectuals who also called for a boycott of state media was posted on a US-based website and has circulated through Chinese websites.[38][39]


In 2007, China's television audience rose to 1.2 billion.[33] The 2008 Summer Olympics coverage on CCTV resulted in an aggregate 41% audience share across its network.[34] As content becomes more diversified, there have been concerns about the audience share, as CCTV is losing out to cable, satellite and regional networks.[35] In Guangzhou for example, CCTV programming only accounts for 45% of the weekly audience share,[36] while in Shanghai, location stations also has share over CCTV.[37] However, the CCTV New Year's Gala remains extremely popular; it acquires more than 90% audience share over the nation.[27]

Audience share

Lassina Zerbo interviewed by China Central Television

On 10 September 2009 CCTV began broadcasting its Russian-language channel.

On 25 July 2009, CCTV launched its Arabic-language international channel, stating that it aims to maintain stronger links with Arabic nations.[30] The Arabic Channel serves the Middle East, North Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.[31][32]

The CCTV-4 channel split into three separate channels on 1 April 2007—each serves different time zones: China Standard Time (CST), Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and Eastern Standard Time (EST) in order to improve service for audiences around the world.[9]

Currently CCTV has 10 channels broadcasting around the world (CCTV-娱乐 (Entertainment), CCTV-戏曲 (Chinese Opera International), CCTV-13, CCTV-4 in Chinese, CCTV-NEWS and CCTV-9 Documentary) in English, CCTV-Français in French, CCTV-Español in Spanish, CCTV-العربية in Arabic, and CCTV-Pусский in Russian. CCTV-4 ASIA used Japanese in Japan. A Portuguese channel is planned for the near future.

Overseas broadcasting

On every day at 5:55 CST, March of the Volunteers (National Anthem of China) plays in most channels (excepts for International Channels and Pay Channels).

  • CCTV-7 Military and Agriculture (SDTV): 06:00-00:00 (the next day)
  • CCTV-10 Science and Education (SDTV): 05:55-02:25 (the next day)
  • CCTV-11 Chinese Opera (SDTV): 06:00-02:30 (the next day)
  • CCTV-12 Society and Law (SDTV): 05:55-02:45 (the next day)
  • CCTV-14 Children (SDTV): 5:55-3:05 (the next day)
  • CCTV-15 Music (Pop music programs broadcast in the CCTV-3, SDTV): 05:57-01:50 (the next day)
  • CCTV-3DTV Test: 10:30-00:00 (the next day)

All CCTV channels are broadcast 24 hours a day except the following channels, the broadcast time of each channels:

All CCTV channels are also broadcast via the following:

Overseas Channels

The following 18 channels are pay channels

Pay Channels



All CCTV channels are independently broadcast. The following 22 channels are public channels, it means that the channels are free, audience only need pay the ratings for the maintenace to the local cable without pay subscription fees. The following is list of the channels with their names:

Public Channel

The CCTV channels are listed in sequential order with no discerning descriptions, e.g. CCTV-1, CCTV-2, etc., similar to those channels in Europe and in other places around the world.


  • Anchors list

CCTV-العربية (Arabic Channel) anchors

  • Anchors list
  • Алеся Корзун
  • Наталия Каргапольцева

CCTV-Русский (Russian Channel) anchors

  • Staff
  • SONG Jianing – Rencontre

CCTV-Français (French Channel) anchors

CCTV-NEWS (English International Channel) program hosts

CCTV-13 (Chinese News Channel) anchors

CCTV-12 (Society and Law) anchors

CCTV-11 (Drama Channel) anchors

CCTV-10 (Science and Education Channel) anchors

CCTV-8 (TV Channel) anchors

CCTV-5 (Sports Channel) anchors

CCTV-4 (Chinese International Channel) anchors

CCTV-3 (Art and Entertainment) anchors

CCTV-2 (Finance Channel) anchors

CCTV-1 anchors

Producing a variety of different programming, China Central Television has a number of different program hosts, news anchors, correspondents, and contributors who appear throughout daily programing on the network.[28]


In 2003 CCTV launched its first 24-hour news channel, initially available to cable viewers.[27]

The CCTV New Year's Gala (Chinese: 中国中央电视台春节联欢晚会)—a yearly special program for the Chinese New Year—is the most-watched CCTV programme.[26]

Focus, first introduced in 1994, is a popular programme on CCTV. This discussion programme regularly exposes the wrongdoings of local officials, which attracts serious attention from higher levels of government. The programme also exposes the Chinese Government's response to the corrupt charges.[25]

Although news reform has been a prominent feature of CCTV networks, the Evening News has remained relatively the same since its first appearance in the early 1980s. Many important political news stories are broadcast through the program.

CCTV produces its own news broadcasts three times a day and is the country's most powerful and prolific television program producer. Its thirty-minute evening news, Xinwen Lianbo ("CCTV Network News" or "CCTV Tonight", Chinese:新闻联播), goes on air daily at 7:00 pm Beijing time. All local stations are required to carry CCTV's news broadcast. An internal CCTV survey indicates that nearly 500 million people countrywide regularly watch this program.[23] However, the figure has slumped in recent years; the program now has 10% of the ratings market, compared to 40% before 1998.[24]


  • September 2, 1958-April 30, 1978: there is no logo on screens, only uses "北京电视台" (Beijing Television, wrote by Mao Zedong) in the end of programs.[16]
  • May 1, 1978-September 30, 1991: uses caption logo "中央电视台" on the lower left corner of the screen (the logo appears in :00 and :30 only).[17]
  • Since October 1, 1991, CCTV uses caption logo "CCTV" on the higher left corner of the screen.[18]
  • Since March 1, 1992, "butterfly logo" was used on the lower left corner of the screen (the logo appears in :00 and :30 only).[19] The logo used in all times the higher left corner since in September 1992.[20] In 1995, the logo has been modified for start to the air of CCTV-3, CCTV-5, CCTV-6, CCTV-7, CCTV-8.
  • Since June 1, 1998, CCTV uses the transparent logo (used on TV screens only) on the higher left corner, the disk-shaped timekeeping device was introduced, it is the symbol of CCTV currently.
  • Since July 8, 2001, CCTV uses the current logo for bids for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[21] The logo has been modified on August 12, 2001 due to difficult to identify the channel's number.
  • Since September 21, 2009, CCTV-2 changed the logo, added the four Chinese characters "财经频道" (Business Channel) under the logo.
  • Since January 1, 2011, CCTV modified all channels' logos, added the name of channel name under the logos. Also, CCTV News, CCTV Children and CCTV Music has been changed to "CCTV-13", "CCTV-14" and "CCTV-15".[22]

Logo on screens

The current logo of CCTV was introduced in 1998. The second "C" is red color, means "China" and "Central". The logo has been modified on July 9, 2001.

From 1979 to 2001, the logo of CCTV is a butterfly-shaped logo, designed by Zhang Desheng (张德生), former CCTV employee. It called "蝴蝶标" (lit. butterfly logo) in Chinese commonly. The logo similar the running track of satellite, atomic nucleus and antenna. It uses three primary colors (red, green, blue). The logo was ceased using in 1998 due to copyright dispute. After this period, this logo can seen on the reporter's microphone (the logo is ceased using currently).

China Network Television (CNTV) is an internet-based broadcaster of China Central Television which launched on 28 December 2009. CNTV offers six foreign languages services, including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Korean, and Arabic.

China Network Television

In 2011, former newspaper editor Hu Zhanfan (胡占凡; of the Guangming Daily[11]) was appointed the new head of CCTV.[12]


The organization is considered one of the "big three" media outlets in China, along with the People's Daily and Xinhua.[10]


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