The Beijing News reported late last month that six major regional satellite television stations in China were opting against broadcasting China Central Television’s annual Spring Festival gala this year, citing the program’s waning influence and CCTV broadcast fees. Television networks deciding not to broadcast the annual event included Anhui Television, Jiangsu Satellite TV and Hunan Satellite TV. A top advertising manager with Anhui Television said: “This year at least five networks will not broadcast the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, and there are already many stations talking about this issue. Not broadcasting the show should be the trend we see in the future.” The CCTV Spring Festival Gala, an all-night stage show to ring in the Lunar New Year, with acts ranging from traditional dance and pop music to comedy — and a heavy dose of state propaganda — has been a household tradition in China for many years. In this cartoon, posted by artist Shang Haichun (商海春) to his blog, a salesman with red lanterns labeled “China Central Television” and “Spring Festival Gala” tries to approach a TV screen labeled “regional TV station” but is turned away by a big hand.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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