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Online viewers bolster satellite TV ratings

Updated: 2013-07-16 07:14
By Liu Zhihua ( China Daily)

A new type of satellite TV station rating, which incorporates the influence of those stations on online programs, was recently released by Ze Media, a media consulting company based in Beijing.

The results are considerably different from traditional ratings, according to Du Zezhuang, vice-president of Ze Media.

Hunan Satellite TV still tops the ratings, and some other A-grade satellite TV stations rank a little bit lower, such as Tianjin Satellite TV. But others, such as Guangdong Satellite TV, rise on the list dramatically compared with the existing rating, which is mainly based on traditional TV viewership, Du says.

Guangdong Satellite TV usually ranks at about 20th among the 40-odd satellite TV stations in China in the traditional ranking. In Ze Media's new rating, it rises to 16th.

"Guangdong Satellite TV is very good at cooperating with Internet companies," Du says.

Many online websites post Guangdong Satellite TV's programs, including all the mainstream video websites in China. The station also pays great attention to micro blogs and its online search ranking, which also contributes to its rise in the rating.

Broadcasting programs on TV has time and channel limitations, but the sky is the limit online. With competition among satellite TV stations heating up in recent years, more seek cooperation with video websites to survive and thrive. Some even create their own online platforms, which can offer Internet viewers programs anytime anywhere.

However, for a long time, TV station rating companies overlooked the increasing online viewership.

"Ratings to some extent decide a TV station's ability to attract advertisers," Du says.

"Quite a few TV directors complained that the existing rating system lags behind the development of TV stations, which inspired us to develop a new rating system."

Ze Media started the project last year. The company combined the traditional rating system with new ranking factors, such as online program hits, online research ranking results, micro-blogging influence and so on, and officially began the new monitoring system in January.

The half-year ranking list was released on June 15 in Beijing, and the company plans to release its monitoring result every half year.

Wu Chunyong, a TV industry observer, says the new system is an innovation that suits the development of TV stations, but he also hopes the ratings will be more detailed and comprehensive in the future.