Hong Kong Cable Stake For Chinese Consortium

Publication: The Hollywood Reporter
Date: Wednesday, November 5 1997
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Hong Kong broadcaster Robert Chua, whose China Entertainment Television Broadcast targets China and Southeast Asia with its "no sex, no violence, no news" cable service, has sold four-fifths of his business to a consortium of five Chinese companies.

The five companies -- Beijing Mega Fortune Investment Inc., China-Asia TV Arts Center, the Chinese TV Artists Assn., Chinacomm International Ltd. and Asia Pacific Xinhua (Group) Investments Co. Ltd. -- have combined
to purchase 80% of CETV's shares.

The announcement from CETV founder-owners Robert and Peggy Chua said that the consortium will help bring the satellite broadcaster "to the forefront of television entertainment throughout the Asia and Pacific regions."

CETV claims that its "no sex, no violence, no news" programming is seen by 33 million viewers on 700 cable networks, mostly in the government-controlled China market. The service was set up by the Chuas in 1995.

According to Chua, the new management consortium is committed to expanding distribution across mainland China and throughout Southeast Asia and to provide viewers with "the best in home-grown television."

In addition to underwriting an array of original productions and program acquisitions, CETV's new management will actively pursue all forms of co-productions with broadcasters and entertainment companies worldwide.

The new ownership group "is committed to fostering the spirit of Chinese teachings and to promoting the history and culture of China," a statement announcing the deal said.

Chief operating officer of CETV Gerry Tymon said Chua will continue to own 20% of the company and serve as vice chairman. He will also commit more money to the service. He would not be more specific, saying the company plans to unveil ambitious expansion plans next month.

Acquiring Chinese partners could help the Mandarin language cable station gain advertising and expand programming, it was speculated.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.