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Survey: Students prefer variety shows to news

By Chen Xiaoru (Global Times)

08:36, August 07, 2012

College students prefer television variety shows to news programs, according to a study that Shanghai Jiao Tong University released Monday.

The media study, which surveyed about 300 students from 110 universities around the country, found Phoenix Television to be the most popular television station, even though many local families can't watch it.

The station is based in Hong Kong. Residents on the Chinese mainland have to apply and pay an additional fee to receive it in their homes. Otherwise, they can only watch it in hotels. Most university students watch its programs on the Internet.

"Phoenix has low ratings, but it does a pretty good job marketing itself on campuses," said Xie Yungeng, vice dean of the Institute of Arts and Humanities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The study found that Hunan Satellite TV Station was the second most popular station among college students, followed by China Central Television (CCTV).

"Hunan Satellite is good at producing variety shows that target viewers under 30 years old," Xie told the Global Times.

The station produces a weekly program, Happy Camp, that was the most popular show among surveyed students.

One of the other most popular programs, KangXi Lai Le, is produced in Taiwan and is not broadcast in the mainland.

Although CCTV doesn't come close to the popularity of the other two stations, the survey found college students preferred its news programs and news anchors. According to the study, CCTV broadcasts the three most viewed news programs and employs nine of the 10 most watched news anchors on Chinese television.

"There are only three networks producing nationwide investigative news programs in China. CCTV is the largest and has incomparable advantages over the others, so it is understandable that their programs and anchors dominate the list," Xie said.

For newspapers, Southern Weekly, a newspaper based in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, was the most popular.

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