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New TV channel to launch

A new television channel featuring locally-produced content and targeting New Zealand’s Chinese community, as well as Kiwis and Asian Kiwis interested in Chinese culture, is being launched on Sunday 19 March.

The Grand Opening Ceremony is being held today (Tuesday 14 March) at the Metropolis Museum, Auckland, and a show reel of the new programming will be unveiled to the audience.

NCTV, owned by Asia Pacific News Corporation, will feature about a third local programming, another third acquired through Xinhua Television Channel (CNC), with the remaining content from third party sources.

The locally produced content will focus on Chinese community news, entertainment, culture and lifestyle, with some programmes broadcast in English and all containing English and Chinese subtitles to ensure the broadest possible audience reach.

The 24/7 channel is broadcast on Freeview Channel 32 and while presently available only in the Auckland region, coverage will be extended nationwide in time. Programming will include news and current affairs, entertainment, finance, tourism, Mandarin learning, property, legal and immigration information.

Asia Pacific News Corporation President Frank Peng says the primary NCTV aim is to build a bridge between New Zealand and China by increasing understanding and enjoyment of each nation’s culture. A secondary aim is to significantly improve the standard of Chinese broadcasting in New Zealand.

“There is a considerable appetite among the Chinese community for high quality television programmes that speaks to their interests and experiences in New Zealand,” Mr Peng says.

Mr Peng adds that Kiwis and Asian Kiwis are also part of the NCTV audience: “New Zealanders are interested and want to participate in the activities of other cultures in their country. They are also interested in the latest political, economic and commercial news out of China and NCTV will keep them abreast of all notable events in China.”

Start-up costs for the new channel are commercially sensitive but considerable and Mr Peng says the company will invest more as NCTV grows its audience and advertising revenue.

“NCTV has been well-supported by advertisers and we expect to rapidly increase revenue following the launch on 19 March,” he says. “Long term, the audience potential is massive. While the Asian population in New Zealand is presently nudging 600,000, of which Chinese is the largest ethnic group. Asian population is forecast to increase to up to 900,000 by 2025 and more than 1.2 million by 2038.

“We employ about 20 local people at our Ellerslie headquarters and we actively seeking more staff as we gear up production,” he says.

Mr Peng says the Asia Pacific News Corporation future plans include synergising the media platform to include NCTV, website, WeChat account and mobile website, across which NCTV partners can promote products and services through video, audio, pictures and text.

“The moment our audience wants to access their favourite products or services, they can scan the QR code and get it,” he says. “We aim to combine television viewing, shopping and services on one media platform.