On the heels of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai, China, AOL Time Warner Inc. agreed today to distribute its CETV channel in the country's Southern Region. Guangdong Cable TV Networks Co. Ltd. will start carrying the 24-hour, Mandarin-language channel in January.
The deal, signed at China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's headquarters in Beijing, also calls for China Central Television's English-language news and information channel, CCTV-9, to be carried on certain Time Warner Cable systems.
The reciprocal agreement included AOL Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System Asia-Pacific unit; China Central Television, which is China's national TV network; CCTV's commercial arm, China International Television Corp.; and GCTV, one of China's largest cable operators.
AOLTW acquired CETV in June 2000 and re-launched it in February. The company says it reaches 80 million homes in Asia, via AsiaSat3S, and was "repositioned to serve the viewing tastes of modern Chinese audiences." The station combines Chinese co-productions and certain programming from AOLTW.