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13. Hong Kong as a Stepping Stone into the Mainland Market

The Mainland, as the hinterland of Hong Kong, is a potential market for both local and overseas broadcasters. The broadcasting industry on the Mainland is a huge market with about 366 million households in 200520. Hong Kong, due to its proximity to the Mainland, is a springboard to this vast market.

On the basis of Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region entered into the Supplementary Agreement to CEPA on 27 October 2004 to further liberalize the Mainland market for a number of sectors, including the audio-visual service sector. According to this Supplementary Agreement to CEPA (also known as CEPA II), television programmes co-produced by the Mainland and Hong Kong, after being examined by the relevant Mainland authorities, are permitted to be broadcast and distributed in the same way as Mainland domestically-produced television programmes. Further liberalization measures were reached on 18 October 2005 under Supplement II to CEPA (also known as CEPA III). Under CEPA III, television dramas co-produced by the Mainland and Hong Kong should be subject to the same standard on the number of episodes as that applicable to Mainland domestically-produced television dramas. In addition, according to the further liberalization measures under CEPA in 2006, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television will delegate to the provincial radio and television administration the authority of examining the finished tapes of Mainland television dramas participated by artistes or production crew from Hong Kong with effect from 1 January 2007.

Some broadcasters have secured the landing rights in the Guangdong province of the Mainland. Phoenix Chinese Channel, Phoenix Movies Channel, and China Entertainment Television (CETV) were among the first to be granted the landing rights in 2001, followed by Xing Kong Wei Shi channel in 2002. The two domestic free television programme service licensees, ATV and TVB, also secured the landing rights in Guangdong province of the Mainland in 2002 and 2004 respectively.

Many channels of the non-domestic television programme service licensees were allowed to be broadcast to 3-star or above hotels and foreign compounds in the Mainland. These include CETV, Channel [V], CNN, Horizon Channel, National Geographic Channel, NOW, Phoenix Chinese, Phoenix InfoNews, Phoenix Movies, STAR Movie International, Sun TV, TVB Galaxy, TVB8 and Xing Kong Wei Shi.


Source: CSM National Panel's Establishment Study in August-October 2005