Shanghai Media Group Pushes Chinese IPTV Service

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The Shanghai Media Group (SMG) has begun promoting its Internet TV service called BesTV, after receiving additional licensing to distribute IPTV over landline networks owned by China Telecommunications Corp.

BesTV COO Li Huaiyu expects the IPTV service to reach anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 households by the end of this year, a much higher number than the 50,000 to 80,000 he predicted in May. Since last month, the IPTV service has reached 10,000 households in the city of Shanghai.

BesTV charges 60-100 yuan ($7.50-12.50) per month to residential and business customers for up to 63 channels and 3000 hours of on-demand programming. Earlier this year, Chinese search engine Baidu expressed its confidence in IPTV by signing a strategic partnership with BesTV in July. Baidu has been working to promote BesTV throughout China, and is developing search technology for use by BesTV and its customers.

SMG, which is the first licensed IPTV distributor in China, also recently signed a deal with Datang Mobile to launch a mobile TV service.

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