CCTV Ready to Launch English-Language Network

By Alex Weprin 

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CCTV Headquarters

The wait is over. China’s CCTV is ready to launch its English-language network, CCTV America. Launching with four hours of programming, the service will focus on North and South American issues, as well as Asian news and views. Among the programs on tap are a newsmagazine, a business program and a”panel” show.

CCTV will have to compete with a number of other international news channels for channel space, including Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, CNN International and RT. The AP has more:

The expansion aims to counter negative images of China, especially over issues such as human rights, one-party communist rule, and Beijing’s policies in the restive western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet.

While it enjoys top-level access to Chinese officialdom, state control tightly restricts CCTV’s reporting about China, leading critics to question what special advantages it can offer over other global networks.

Update: as a tipster noted, the “network” is technically a sub-network of its international service, which is already in English. The new programming is a block targeting U.S. viewers, and will share channel-space with CCTV News. It is technically a new channel, in the same way that Adult Swim is counted separately from Cartoon Network, even though the two share channel-space.