DAILY NEWS Jan 18, 2002 2:45 PM - 0 comments

China to get its own digital cable Citytv, MuchMusic

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TORONTO - CHUM Television International today announced an agreement with Singapore-based RTV Broadband Services Pte. Ltd. to provide program content and develop a channel format operation in China.

Chum will be supplying RTV Broadband with the format and content produced by CHUM owned channels Citytv and MuchMusic to create a multimedia entertainment service. Programming will be sliced into program blocks of various lengths.

"We are delighted to be working with RTV Broadband in one of the world's largest emerging markets", said Kevin Byles, vice-president and general manager Chum Television International. "This is a wonderful opportunity not only to extend our programming and brands into China, but also create a service utilizing the newest broadband technologies."

RTV Broadband is working with Shanghai CAV Online, which is the first company to receive an unrestricted broadband distribution license for audio/video content and games for all of China. The service will be delivered via two-way digital cable to a set-top box, connected to either television or computer.

Launching at the Chinese spring festival this February, the service will initially be available to China's largest city, Shanghai. Plans are to expand throughout China, with the rollout concentrating on the Eastern China region, said to be the most economically developed market in China. Today there are already more than 80 million cable subscribers in China.

"We are convinced that as the overall entertainment demand in China continues to grow, we can satisfy individual tastes and consumption patterns through our innovative service. Chum programs for example can be viewed any time or repeatedly, and combined with background information and other features. This means that a new level of content exploitation and enhancement can be realized," said Axel Klopprogge, founding shareholder and chairman of RTV Broadband.

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