Citing this year’s first bulletin from the office in charge of auditing government funds under the State Council, The Beijing News said annual revenues from China Central Television would no longer be appropriated by China’s state broadcast overseer, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT). The announcement was major news concerning China’s state-owned television broadcaster, but its significance and full details were not yet known.
According to the bulletin, issued by China’s National Audit Office (CNAO), SARFT has lately appropriated roughly 400 million yuan (US$48.5 million) annually from CCTV. Beginning with the 2006 fiscal year, SARFT will no longer reap revenues from the state television group, but media insiders speculated the central government would make up the gap. “There’s no way they would just deprive the agency of such a revenue source without making it up,” said one analyst.
The Beijing News also said in its news report that CCTV would employ a “new management system”, operating as a government-sponsored institution with enterprise-style management (事业单位, 企业化管理). In fact, CCTV has effectively operated this way for years.
Since the 1990s a number of media in China have operated under “government-sponsored” status, which means in essence that they are fall somewhere between fully government-run entities and the private sector. Guangdong province’s Southern Daily is one example — an entity whose boss is not a Party leader and which is not private, but which introduces corporate-style management.
China’s budget year follows the normal calendar year, beginning on January 1 and ending December 31.
[Chinese coverage at Sina.com]
[Full text of CNAO Bulletin No. 1 here]
[Posted by David Bandurski, 10:30am, March 30,2006.]