He Haiming, Deputy Director of the Advertising Management Center of CCTV
Conquered by Big Movies
The year 2013 sees both China-made movies and TV dramas marching into a big show age. Last year end, the movie Lost in Thailand, directed and acted by XuZheng, hit a 1.2 billion-yuan box office; March this year, the movie Finding Mr. Right hit 520 million yuan; after one month, So Young!, directed by actress Zhao Wei, achieves huge success and hit 650 million yuan by May 15. Chinese movies are hitting bit box office with an explosive energy.
Now let’s turn to “big” TV dramas, which have big input, production, high-file promotion and fruitful rewarding. Key programs are paid great efforts by provincial satellite TV stations. For example, I’m a Singer made a successful debut on Hunan TV in 2013, a number of varieties shows come to follow. Examples are Star in Danger on Jiangsu TV with copyright introduced from Germany, Celebrity Splash on Zhejiang TV, If You Are the One on Jiangsu TV with a production cost of 150 million yuan. These shows share a common feature of being introduced overseas, star participation, highly-frequent promotion, sparking topics on social websites and long-text news release for promotion.
Variety Shows vs. TV Dramas: a golden age of TV programs
Mentioning big TV shows, we first come to hit variety shows and TV dramas.
In terms of variety shows, CCTV has updated its efforts. In 2013, it debut a number of variety shows on the screen, e.g., Avenue of Stars (super version) shown on Saturdays, and Live My Life, Dream with Star Partner, The Most Wonderful Song and etc. shown on Sundays on CCTV-1; The Golden 100 Seconds, Tougher But Braver, Go to Spring Festival Gala, Successful Beginning, Variety Show Feast, I Love Success and etc. shown on CCTV-3. These shows feature mature copyright, unique showing form, fine production, resourceful participants and full-range promotion. The market performance of these shows is unusual. Avenue of Stars and The Voice of China are very well rewarded in advertising.
In terms of big TV dramas, the audiences are fed with dramas on all kinds of themes. The prime-time show is already a scene dominated by TV dramas on provincial satellite TV stations. CCTV also puts more input on good-quality dramas since the beginning of this year. The warmly concerned Pre-story on Marching to Guandong was shown during the prime time on CCTV-1 and ended with a 2.13% of viewing rate and 6.04% viewing share; the average viewing rate was 1.75% and the average viewing share was 5.22%. CCTV have prepared TV shows on themes such as mythological , detective, legendary and youth in this summer with an aim of showing a good drama every day. In addition to other dramas of these kinds, Huapi II, Chinese Sherlock, Legendary Lady General HuaMulan, Ye Wen, Longmen Express, Three Brothers, Storms in Leased Territory, Destiny Love, True Love Bothers; introduced movies like Nikita, Robinson Crusoe, Alarm für Cobra 11 and Beautiful Man will be shown in “Overseas Theatre” on CCTV-8.
Big Variety Shows vs. Big TV Dramas, CCTV vs. Provincial Satellite TVs in 2013
The age of big shows represents a need of diversification for CCTV.
Big variety shows and TV dramas are not the only parts in terms of big TV shows. There are also news, finance, sports, documentaries and cultural shows, which are equally wonderful.
Key Big Shows Released by Authority
United News and Interviews on Focus are two big news shows on CCTV, indicating the identification of authorized shows.
Surveys show that United News is the most authentic news release in China. Watching it at 7:00 pm every day has become a convention form many senior people in China. Audiences see United News as a national spokesman on news. It made its debut on January 1, 1978, a program maintaining the longest period with the greatest influential. Provincial satellite TVs are relayed simultaneously. The central government determined on September 1, 1982 that important news should be firstly released on United News, laying a foundation as an official channel to release news. It is also a program enjoying the greatest number of audience and the highest viewing rate. It keeps a No. 1 viewing rate and influence for many years as it gathers the most audience in the world. The news show also well reflects the time and leads the trend of TV news shows. For example, after the themed interview report on “Are you happy?” last year, new topics are created this year in the street interviews such as “What is your dream?”, and “What do you need most in 2013?” For the first time, United News adds a section of linking to commentator on January 23 this year. Yang Yu, a commentator, once provided his comment on the widely-concerned topic “Waste on your tongue”.
Interviews on Focus releasesdiscussions on widely-concerned topics. Taking shrimp, a widely disputable object throughout China, as an example, Interviews on Focus finds after survey that the majority of shrimp are cultured on special purpose. It grows faster in clear water. It will be safe to eat and free from too much content of lead and mercury as long as the head is cut. To show up the truth other than gossip is the role a mainstream medium should undertake.
Big news shows present their advantage by live shows. Excellent capability on news report is the base of the CCTV. Disputes on the issue of sovereignty of Diaoyu Island continue among Chinese people. The follow-up report and comments provides accurate news to the audiences. CCTV also undertakes live reports on main activities during the “two meetings” in 2013, presenting the feature of news concerning on people’s livelihood with enriched forms.
On June 11, 2013, the spacecraft Shenzhou X was launched at Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center. The whole process was released on live show of CCTV-1 and CCTV-News. CSM data show that there were 178 million people watching the launching and the average viewing rate of CCTV-1 and CCTV-News reached 2.19%, average viewing share reached 16.27%. This spacecraft had the longest stay in the space and CCTV live show witnessed a new breakthrough of the space industry together with the Chinese people.
Big Finance News Eyes on Economy: CCTV-2 has produced a number of great documentaries, e.g., BRICK, which introduced the four BRICK countries from the perspective of economic development and livelihood and illustrated the progress of these four countries seizing the global opportunities to realize economic growth. Wall Street takes the financial crisis on the Wall Street as an example and summarizes the 200-year development history of modern finance based on the stock exchange market, leading the Chinese people to think about the capital market. Currency is an all-rounded and profound summarization on the relation between the currency and politics, economics, culture and the social operation order. It interprets the currency in an open and exoteric way. Memo on State-owned Enterprises represents the state-owned enterprises’ trial, difficulties, pursue and exploration on their road of opening up to the outside world. In addition, CCTV will release more big documentaries in 2013, e.g., The Age of Internet, which will dissect the huge impact brought by the internet to industries and the society; Brands’ Secret, will lead the audience to the core zone of big world brands with true data and in the “language” of TV industry.
Sports events with hundreds of high lights: in 2013, brilliant events will go on. The National Games, the East Asian Games, the World Table Tennis Championships, the Sudirman Cup, Men’s and Women’ Basketball Asian Championships, the Men’s Football Asian Cup Qualifier, etc. will cover about 90 days. In 2014, five top events such as Winter Olympic in Sochi, Nanjing Summer Youth Olympic Games, World Cup, EuroCup and Asian Games, will certainly be splendid.
Documentaries have a broad range of topics: A Bite of China, shown on CCTV in 2012, detonated hot topics all across the nation. And A Bite of China 2nd will be launched around the end of this year. Opera, a documentary presented in June, gathered a batch of artists joining in the program recording. In the form of documentary for the first time, it integrally records the development history of opera, a traditional Chinese art, and the histories of life, cultures and economy of the Chinese people, which are constantly changing. And there’re a good many documentaries to be expected. The Path of Porcelain, records and recovers the ups and downs of the stories behind the development of the Chinese porcelain, seeking the propagation road of the Chinese porcelain around the world and searching for the spark collided by the Chinese and the world civilizations. Gardens: it tells the life and stores in gardens, and from the dreams of generations, it reflects the miniatures with the Chinese characteristics, looking for the relevancy between the history and the current time. Silk Road primarily records the magnificent civilization of the Silk Road cross all times, and bases on the real life, discusses the motivation, process and harmony between the east and the west civilizations.
Culture-topic big shows get rooted among the common audiences: 2013 Star of Outlook English Talent Competition sets 27 sub-areas with more than 4 million people signed. Chinese Character Dictation Assembly is a program promoting the Chinese characters dictation as the name implies. It is the first program of its kind and will be shown at prime time on weekend on CCTV-10.
Full Confidence in TV Media
We thought that Chinese film market was declining in 1990s. However, Chinese film market shows prosperity after 2010. When we predicted the radio media with the same thinking, it prospers and grows well.
Media ecological studies demonstrate that the rapid development of modern science and technology drives media to keep seeking new form of development with longstanding potential.
When we come to the second decade of the 21st century, TV media has entered a “Big Show Age” in hot disputes. What will happen in the future? We need to see together.