China Central Television

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China Central Television or Chinese Central Television (simplified Chinese: 中国中央电视台; traditional Chinese: 中國中央電視臺; pinyin: Zhōngguó Zhōngyāng Diànshìtái), commonly abbreviated as CCTV (simplified Chinese: 央视; traditional Chinese: 央視; pinyin: Yāngshì), is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 19 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. This station is one of the official mouthpieces of the Chinese government, and reports directly to high-level officials in the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Central Propaganda Department.[2]



Following an experimental transmission on 1 May 1958, CCTV – then known as Peking Television (北京电视台) – broadcast its first programme on 2 September 1958. Peking Television began broadcasting experimentally in colour on its second channel every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1 May 1973 using the PAL-D system. The network changed its name to CCTV on 1 May 1978.[3]

At the end of 1970s CCTV broadcast in the evenings only, usually closing down at midnight. During the summer and winter academic vacations, however, 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, popularity of the CCTV was primed due to the faithful adaptation and presentation of Dream of the Red Chamber. This 36-episode TV series, the first Chinese television drama to enter the global market,[5] is available on DVD and is still very popular. In the same year, CCTV had exported 10,216 programmes to 77 foreign television stations.[5]

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