Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings
Ltd or Phoenix Television
: 凤凰卫星电视 Traditional Chinese
:鳳凰衛星電視 Hanyu Pinyin
:Fènghuáng Wèixīng Diànshì) is a Hong Kong
Chinese television broadcaster that serves the Chinese mainland and other markets with substantial Chinese viewers. It has 5 different television channels. Phoenix Television provides news, information, entertainment programmes. It has a good relationship with the People's Republic of China
government. It is one of the few privately owned broadcasting companies in mainland China able to broadcast information about events not covered by the government media, such as the coverage on the Against Basic Law Article 23
Rally on 1 July 2003
The company intends to move its corporate head office to Chaoyang District, Beijing.
Phoenix TV operates the following channels:
- Phoenix Chinese Channel, launched on 31st March 1996, one of the long-term foreign broadcasters in China
- Phoenix Movies Channel, launched on 28th August 1998. It is now in its 5th year of operation as an encrypted pay-television service in China and worldwide.
- Phoenix InfoNews Channel, launched on 1st January 2001, a twenty-four-hour news channel.
- Phoenix North America Chinese Channel, launched on 1st January 2001, which now broadcasts on both EchoStar and DirectTV satellite systems and shares the same programming with Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment Channel.
- Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment Channel (also known as Phoenix CNE Channel), launched in August 1999, which is now a 24 hour channel based in London and broadcasting via satellite Eurobird 1 across Europe.
Phoenix started Phoenix Chinese Channel on 31 March 1996. During these years, the development of satellite allowed them to expand their broadcast to 53 countries and regions with more than 20 million viewers worldwide, of which more than 62% are Chinese-speaking people. It covers over 42 million households with more than 150 million viewers from the Mainland China.
Phoenix Chinese Channel, Phoenix Movie Channel and Phoenix InfoNews Channel are broadcasting via cable in Hong Kong and via satellite to Taiwan, mainland China and other regions globally.
The Phoenix InfoNews Channel was established in 1 Jan 2001. It was the first Chinese language channel that covered news among Greater China regions, including mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. There is 24-hour broadcasting on financial news, stock market information as well as news headlines worldwide. In addition, it provides comments and analysis prepared by analysts on current issues and topics.
The Phoenix CNE channel also broadcasts in Europe and in the Americas, it broadcasts the Phoenix North America Channel.
Phoenix features a mix of programmes, ranging from political and economic news and current affairs through talk shows, film and music reviews to movies, and mini series in both Chinese and foreign origins.
Since 1 September 2001, Phoenix Television has been broadcasting a range of United Nations television programme including 57 episodes of "UN in Action", 39 episodes of "World Chronicle", and also some awarded-winning documentaries. Phoenix is cooperating with the United Nations to produce more programmes.
The service of Phoenix is extended to WAP, which facilitates news messages transferred through the mobile technology (SMS and MMS). The service is charged.
Phoenix Satellite Television holdings Ltd is a public limited company. The majority shareholders are STAR TV
(wholly-owned by News Corporation
) and Today's Asia Limited which owns 75% of Phoenix Television and public investors hold 16.4% of Phoenix shares outstanding.
Liu Changle (劉長樂), the CEO and founder of Phoenix TV said Phoenix TV is "developing a global outlook and independent of local political attachment". He is a former People's Liberation Army Colonel and is known to have produced government propaganda during the Cultural Revolution.
Specialities of Phoenix Televisions
News Anchor Stars
Phoenix Chinese Television features many well-known news anchors, talk show hosts as their 'STAR PRESENTERS'. Most of them are degree holders in communications or language studies. Some of the top 'star presenters' are
- Wu Hsiao-Li (吳小莉)
- Wu was mentioned by former prime minister Zhu Rongji in a press conference, in which he said that he watched her broadcasted news everyday.
- Hu I-Hu (Tiger Hu)(胡一虎)
- Hu is a reporter who interviewed the South African ex-President Nelson Mandela. He is also the reporter who has been "the most popular reporter in Taiwan" for 5 years.
- Chen Luyu (陈鲁豫)
- Luyu hosts a popular talk show (A Date With Luyu) and likened as an "Oriental Oprah".
- Zeng Zimo (曾子墨)
- Yang Shu (Susie Yang)(杨舒), an anchor in Phoenix TV.
- Dou Wentao (竇文濤), born August 21 1967, in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province （河北省石家庄市）, is famous for his daily talk show Behind the Headlines with Wentao（锵锵三人行） with two guests which he manages, since the beginning of the airing of the programme.
- Xu Gehui (許戈輝)
- Luqiu Luwei (閭丘露薇)
- Lu is the first Chinese female reporter who went to Iraq during the Iraq war.
- Lu's contributions on reporting Iraq wars and SARS have been praised by PRC Chairman Hu Jin Tao.
- Liu Hai-Jo (劉海若)
- Liu was traumatically injured in a railway accident in the United Kingdom in 2002 and surprisingly survived after having been transferred to Beijing People's Hospital.
- The channel has broadcasted updates of her recovering progress.
Close Relationship with Mainland
Phoenix has good relationships with the PRC
government. In January 2003, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Films and Television (SARFT) (中國國家廣播電影電視總局) granted landing rights (落地權) to Phoenix InfoNews Channel, making it one of the few non-government related television broadcasters in mainland China able to broadcast information about events not covered by the government media, such as the coverage on the Against Basic Law Article 23
Rally on 1 July 2003
Hong Kong Television?
Most mainland and Taiwan audiences view Phoenix Television as their only source of information related to Hong Kong though not many Hong Kong citizens are watching Phoenix Television for a few reasons:
- Phoenix channels are only available for Hong Kong audiences who have installed satellite or paid for Cable TV (around 600,000 out of 7 million Hong Kong population, according to ACNielsen), therefore it is far behind popular free channels like TVB and ATV. Additionally, Today's Asia Limited, one of two major shareholders of Phoenix, which is owned by Liu Chang-le and Chan Wing-kei, also owns ATV. Both Liu Chang-le and Chan Wing-kei are ATV's directors.
- Many Phoenix programmes are designed for the interest of mainland and Taiwan audiences, Hong Kong people are generally less interested in political news.
- Phoenix broadcasts in Mandarin Chinese, which is less common in Hong Kong than Cantonese, the major spoken variant of Chinese used in Hong Kong.
Prospects of Phoenix Television
- Xinhuanet describes both the pros and cons of Phoenix Television:
- Phoenix Television is good at creating mood in the scenes to touch their audiences, especially when it airs a live programme.
- It is a little bit difficult for Phoenix Television to create perfect production in its programmes due to a lack of capital.
- According to the China Economic Review 2003, Phoenix TV has set up a joint venture with Guangdong Television Broadcasting Development Centre to sell advertising and programming to Chinese broadcasters. This could help in generating more income from advertisements and ease their capital needs.
- As stated in its 2003 annual report, Phoenix planned to:
- Further expand its market share in mainland China.
- Continue to focus on educated young executives in the mainland, aged below 40, with high income levels, as its target audiences.
- Start up a production center in Shenzhen to facilitate their operations in mainland China at lower costs.
- Develop its services through other mediums such as the internet, its weekly magazine (the Phoenix), and bookstores.