TV through the Internet steps forward

Updated: 2012-01-30 10:32

By Xie Yu (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - China's leading Internet protocol television (IPTV) operator, Shanghai-based BesTV, is vowing to reintroduce TV to people's everyday lives, bringing back the traditional family atmosphere.

BesTV New Media, a subsidiary under Shanghai Media Group (SMG), was the first media company in China to offer IPTV. It launched an initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in December, with some calling it the first new media stock in China.

TV through the Internet steps forward

BesTV New Media, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, is the first media company in China to offer Internet Protocol Television, by which TV programs can be watched worldwide through the Internet.[Photo/China Daily]

IPTV refers to a system through which television services are delivered through the Internet instead of being delivered through traditional terrestrial, satellite signal and cable television channels.

Qiu Xin, chairman of BesTV, said the company's IPO will raise its international competitiveness. The company claims BesTV has already got 10 million subscribers across the nation and is expecting more in the future. The growth rate of its revenue and net profit both exceeded 50 percent over the last three years. The company has invested more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) on new media technology and intellectual property rights and bought in excess of 350,000 hours of copyright material.

Tao Mingcheng, chief executive officer of BesTV, said he is very confident about the company's future.

"The competition between video websites is fierce and the price for Internet copyright is rocketing. But we use TV rights, which, in most cases, are cheaper," he said, noting that his company has a remarkable advantage in cost compared with online video operators such as Tudou or Youku.

"There are more than 500 million netizens in China, of which we have developed only 10 million customers. I believe television has its own advantage," he said, stressing watching besTV could deliver a family atmosphere as it is suitable for family watching, and provide a better visual experience with a larger television screen.

The Internet needs to go "offline" to be part of everyday life, and IPTV gives the opportunity to build an efficient channel and deliver Internet content directly through the TV for people of all ages, he said.

Tao also said BesTV is working hard to go global with its unique platform product.

"We actually have a larger influence overseas than in China," he said, adding the company has been cooperating and exporting technology to Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

"We plan to export Chinese TV dramas and movies overseas through the platform we constructed," he said.

The company has also established a joint venture with Lenovo, China's largest personal computer maker, to develop products for the IPTV market. BesTV has invested more than 1 billion yuan in 200 Internet TV patents and the rights to core software, according to 21st Century Business Herald.

The IPTV platform not only carries TV broadcasts but also the Internet, data transmission and IP phone-call services via cable networks.

The nation has been building the IPTV platform in two tiers, namely, the central level, which will provide programs and services catering to all audiences throughout the country, which was mainly conducted by the China Network Television (CNTV, a subsidiary under China Central Television), and the local level, which is led by BesTV.

All 12 pilot cities, chosen by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television to build local IPTV platforms, finished their construction and linked them to the central-level platform in late 2010. Another 42 cities will join the pilot group in 2012. It will mean China's IPTV users will exceed 25 million, the most sizable in the world, according to, an information technology website.