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Australian television network set to offer Mandarin Chinese channel

(Xinhua)    10:57, April 30, 2015

MELBOURNE, April 30 -- Australia's highest-rating television network has confirmed it is weighing up the benefits of launching foreign language channels, with the priority being the growing community of Mandarin Chinese viewers.

Seven West Media has undertaken research showing that members of multicultural communities are turning off television sets in favor of sourcing news and television programs from their country of origin either online or via satellite.

News Corp reported on Thursday that Seven believes there were millions of potential viewers waiting for a network to show more multicultural offerings.

Seven would likely launch a channel catering to Mandarin Chinese viewers, showing news as well as popular Mandarin television shows.

Seven West Media Chief Executive Officer Tim Worner said the huge untapped potential presents a unique opportunity for the network.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2.4 million Australians identified with an Asian background, with more than 865,000 said they were of Chinese descent, and "that was a figure that couldn't be ignored."

"The media landscape is evolving -- it's irresponsible of us not to look for any and all growth opportunities," Worner told News Corp.

"That has included the launch of additional channels and in that mix has been foreign language channels including Chinese language options," he said.

According to recent OzTAM statistics, Seven and its two digital channels control more than 25 percent of the market share, compared to just over 20 percent by its nearest competitor.

Worner said that a changing media landscape meant that Seven West Media had to look for innovative ways to stay competitive in commercial television.

"Australia is changing quickly and certainly the market in which we operate is rapidly evolving. We are always challenging ourselves to match the speed of that change inside Seven or similar," said Worner

Finding content does not pose a problem to Seven West Media, with the research uncovering that China produces the most television drama episodes in the world -- more than 30,000 shows every year.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Gao Yinan)

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