China limits foreign satellite channels in hotels
Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Guests of China’s three-star hotels or above can watch no more than 31 foreign TV channels in hotel rooms as of this year, said the State Administration of Radio Film and Television.

The channels are CNN, HBO, Cinemax, CNBC Asia Pacific, MTV Mandari, National Geographic Channel Asia, STAR Movie International, Channel V, AXN, Discovery, Hallmark, BBC World, NHK World Premium, Phoenix Movies, Phoenix Chinese, TVB8, TVB Galaxy, NOW, MASTV Chinese, Phoenix Infonews Channel, Bloomberg, Xing Kong Wei Shi, Euro Sports News, CETV, Horizon Channel, SUNTV, Celestial Movies, Channel NewsAsia, TV5, East TV and Cuba Vision International.

In China, private users are banned from using satellite receivers, while foreigners and residents from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan areas may apply for installation, Shanghai Daily reports. SARFT said hotel owners have to apply for a permit to receive all or some of the above foreign channels from the administration. The new permits are only valid for one year.

China International Television Corporation will work as a sole agent for transmitting the satellite signals for the above-mentioned channels and will dispatch decoders to qualified hotels, SARFT added. Encrypted channel signals will be transmitted via SinoSat-2, a Chinese home-made communication and broadcast satellite.

(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)