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Entertaining the Nation
August 26, 2004
Roundtable entertains big ideas
 

 

China is taking centre stage in the world of entertainment.

This was the consensus of top executives from the world's largest music companies, television production houses and Internet content providers who participated yesterday in the 4th China Daily CEO Roundtable (CDRT) themed "Entertaining the Nation" in Hong Kong.

Although they griped about lack of protection for intellectual property rights and the slow pace of market liberalization, the Roundtable agreed that the potential of the China market was almost limitless. And the biggest show of them all is going to be the 2008 Beijing Olympic, said Stephen Marcopoto, president and managing director of Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific Inc.

In his opening remarks, Marcopoto said China's media and entertainment industry, though it currently accounted for less than 2 per cent of the country's GDP, is set to grow to a dramatic scale in the coming years. Marcopoto oversees all programming, network, development, advertising and distribution sales, marketing and promotion for Turner Broadcasting and its networks and Internet services, including the CNN news group, Cartoon Network, TCM and CETV in the Asia Pacific region.

Citing a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Marcopoto said the overall size of the global entertainment and media industry will grow from US$229 billion in 2004 to US$365 billion in 2008. The average 9.8 per cent annual growth rate is mainly driven by China and by the country's heavy investment in both communications and media infrastructure.

More specifically, the entertainment industry will see robust expansion across-the-board. China's Internet and broadband sector, for instance, had about 75 million Internet users and it is projected to soar to 260 million by 2008, which is roughly the size of the entire US population and among which are 75 million broadband users.

Satellite services, buoyed by new technology, are projected to more than double their current base of 30 million users in the next four years. Digital TV, booming in major Chinese cities, will have 30 million subscribers by 2008. Theme parks and video gaming, in vogue for the new generation, are also expected to undergo similar expansion in the near future.

Charles Chau Suk Poon, managing director of MTV Networks (North Asia), echoed these sentiments and pointed out that "although the media sector is still highly regulated in China, there is no signs of slowdown in our growth."

He said the country's media and entertainment market is estimated at US$18 billion in value in 2004, which represents about 1.5 to 2 per cent of China's more than US$1 trillion GDP. Of that, US$6 billion is related to media advertising, US$2.5 billion of which is TV advertising; and the remaining US$12 billion goes to direct consumer media and entertainment such as CDs and VCDs.

"Although China's overall economic size is still not among the largest in the world, with that size of market, it's not a small business for us at all," Chau says, adding the entertainment industry was actually acting as a creative economy.

As the company manages its business in Asia-Pacific area, the highest growth market is definitely China, Chau says. Using the company's experience for example, Chau says that MTV Networks, which entered China's market in 1996, have grown from one representative office to a 100-staff company with three major offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The company now has five TV programmes syndicated throughout China, including a 24-hour MTV programme in all foreign compounds and hotels.

Its revenue growth has maintained high double-digit annual growth for the past seven years, and is not showing any signs of growth slowing. Chau said that the company's revenue would be in the US$ eight-digit zone in 2005 and will become profitable early next year.

 

By Jian Er

 

 
The 4th China Daily CEO Roundtable
Honorary Chairmen

Mr. Stephen Marcopoto, Turner International Asia Pacific Ltd. President

Mr. Charles Chau, MTV Networks North Asia Managing Director, North Asia
EVP Strategy and Research Asia

Mr. Jun Tang, The Walt Disney Company Vice President of China Affairs

 

Moderator
Mr. Alexander Wan
Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundtable
List of Delegates
Name Title Company
Mr . J. P. Wang Managing Director, Head of Greater China Corporate Finance ABN AMRO
Mr. Campbell McLean Executive Producer, Business Development Asia Pacific Vision
Ms. Shirley Chung General Manager, Corporate Affairs Celestial Pictures Ltd
Mr. Simon Dewhurst Director of Investment Banking
Head of Media & Entertainment Investment Banking
CLSA Equity Capital Markets Limited
Mr. Allan Ma Director of Operations Communication Management Limited.
Mr. Elton Yeung Chief Executive Officer Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd (CASH)
Ms. Pying-Huan Principal Excelsior Capital Asia
Mr. Francis Chu Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director MediaNation Inc.
Mr. Patrick Tong Managing Director Mei Ah Entertainment Group Limited
Ms. Frankie Lee Director and CEO Music Nation Group
Mr. Ted Sun Chief Executive Officer & Director Netease.com Inc.
Ms. Miranda Chan Head, Programme & Content Management Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)
Mr. Brandon Lin Director Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund
Mr. Richard Denekamp President - Asia Sony Music (Asia) Inc.
Mr. Ruuben Van Den Heuvel Vice President, Business Development Sony Music (Asia) Inc.
Mr. Robert Chua Chairman / Founder The Interactive Channel Co. Ltd.
Mr. Andrew Leung Executive Director ERA Information & Entertainment Limited
     
   
     
China Daily CEO Roundtable
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