A black market for satellite TV is booming in China as the middle class grows there, bringing foreign channels like CNN and MTV to a much wider audience than allowed by the government.
Satellite TV is legal only for select viewers in China. Content deemed pornographic, violent or threatening to state interests is also banned, a potential roadblock for a range of overseas programming. News stations like CNN and BBC, for instance, are unafraid to air criticisms of the Chinese government that would bring harsh punishment upon a domestic TV station. But satellite dishes that pick up those and other foreign channels, such as ESPN and HBO, have grown popular among white-collar workers despite all the rules.
In 2008 in China, more than 10 million satellite dishes shipped that could receive overseas signals with the standard DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcasting-Satellite), according to market researcher iSuppli.