Saturday Night Live Expands to China

It was anything but your typical Beijing press conference. Joining chairman and CEO Charles Zhang today were American stand-up comic Joe Wong and Beijing TV host Kelly Cha to celebrate the site’s exclusive deal with NBC for SNL Internet broadcast rights.


From the AP report:

Ten episodes from the current 39th season of SNL are available now. Future episodes will be available online without subtitles the Monday after airing in the United States, and a version with Chinese subtitles and explanations of cultural references will be available at 10 p.m. the following Saturday, Sohu said in its announcement Thursday.

SNL actually premiered on Sohu’s TV portal just before Christmas. Zhang told reporters that American content already generates one-fifth of the clicks on the Sohu TV side.

He at one point made a joking reference to possible censorship of an SNL China-themed sketch and feels the availability of the program could inspire some similar programs in his country. This new audience could also, potentially, further motivate Lorne Michaels and co. to search for Asian-American talent.

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