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China to get another look at Oscars
Updated: 2004-02-23 09:04

China will be tuning in to the Oscars in record numbers in just over a week.

China Central Television, which relayed the Academy Awards to the world's most populous country last year for the first time, was the first channel to get broadcasting rights this year, Xinhua news agency said Sunday.

Local television stations had also been granted rights to screen Hollywood's annual showcase of self-congratulation which begins at 9 a.m. Beijing time on March 1.

Xinhua did not say if CCTV would show the Oscars live, but if so, the network will be keeping its fingers crossed.

Earlier this month, China has aired the live U.S. Super Bowl show by the state television CCTV.

"More Chinese television viewers will see the Oscars on domestic TV channels this year as more TV stations have won the broadcasting rights to the global movie extravaganza," Xinhua said.

Asked if the Chinese network would impose a transmission delay, a CCTV spokesman said it was too early to comment on next month's programming.

China's first local movie channel, Shanghai East Movie Channel (SEMC), launched at the end of last year, had also bought relay rights.

"In addition, the Shanghai TV station can make Oscar-related programs and sell them to other TV stations in China," Xinhua said.

China, with a population of about 1.3 billion, boasts over 2,000 TV stations and more than 4,000 TV channels. At least 50 provincial TV stations have satellite ability.

"In this sense, China's TV market is of great potential for foreign programs, such as Oscar and Grammy awarding ceremonies," Xinhua quoted SEMC deputy director Xiao Hong as saying.

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