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Can the audience market educate careless CCTV 5?

By Pu Yang Monday, 24 Aug 2015 18:00

China has started the recent 2015 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Cup in style with two successive wins over Serbia and Algeria until their clash with USA. 

Chinese supporters could not have asked for more from those first two wins at the event hosted in Japan, but surely they could ask for an explanation, at least, from the national sports television channel CCTV 5 who suddenly decided to cut off the live broadcast when televising the 4th game of the match between China and Serbia.

Instead of continuing with the volleyball clash until its conclusion, CCTV 5 took a break for adverts before switching live to the Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships, to broadcast live the opening ceremony which had not even started, leaving the excited China’s volleyball team fans very unsettled and unhappy.

The broadcaster never presented any hint of their plan to interrupt the schedule and switch to the event nor explain why this happened even afterwards to the fans except for a caption displaying the result of the match when showing the World Championships. 

Previously, CCTV 5, as the premier sports television channel within China,has had this kind of “accident “before. Earlier in 2011 when broadcasting live, the curtain raiser for the NBA regular season between Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers the sports broadcasters apologized not long after the cut off, admitting that it was an accident. 

But why did CCTV 5 keep silent after this apparent “accident”? Or what made the channel decide to replace the ongoing FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Cup clash with the IAAF World Championships?

We will receive no answers unless CCTV 5 officially gives one and there is seemingly no significant point in identifying whether it was a careless mistake or not. 

What I am trying to point out is that the state’s sports television channel is facing fierce challenges from the emerging online sports streamers, namely the likes of Letv Sports, Tencent Sports or PPTV Sports. This rivalry means more choices for audiences to select when watching sports events and to this extent, the landscape of sports broadcasting, be it television or online streaming, will be significantly changed with the development of marketization in this field. 

In my view, CCTV 5 still needs to grow in this perspective in a market where the audience have an important say.

Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick



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