China’s CCTV Squashes Pesky Free Market in the Ratings Wars

China’s state-run hasn’t had to fight off competition when it comes to broadcasting the Olympic Games this summer, and they’re raking in advertising revenues. From Wired:

Strangely, without any competitors, “government censorship does not seem to hurt the company’s bottom line.”

Since foreign broadcasters are shut out from China, it does a healthy business with international and foreign brands, striking advertisement deals with companies like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Adidas.

During the opening ceremonies, 840 million people tuned in to watch the games in China, which might be the largest audience viewing an event from one place ever. Nielsen numbers show that up to 96 percent of Chinese households with television sets have tuned into some part of the Olympic competition, with the women’s table tennis final on Sunday drew 330 million people — an audience larger than the entire U.S. population.

In the first 10 days of the Games, over 100 million people in China watched events over streaming video on its Web site, CCTV.com. That’s compared to the 42 million viewers that NBCOlympics.com boasted after twelve days of Olympic coverage. It’s good to be a state-sponsored monopoly.

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