Mass audience at Chinese New Year

CSM Media Research is part of the Kantar Media network and their National PeopleMeter reveals the full story behind the huge audience figures that clock up.

The eve of the Chinese New Year,  also known as the Spring Festival, fell on February 14 this year. It is by far the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. Each year sees over 100 million people travel often vast distances to be with their families for the holiday, especially for the eve of the Chinese New Year.  With everyone together at home, the potential for TV viewing increases dramatically.

Since 1986, CCTV 1, the flagship channel of national broadcaster, CCTV, broadcasts an annual gala event on the eve of the Spring Festival. This year it was simulcast on an additional 20 satellite channels. The TV audience for this event is always impressive reaching hundreds of millions of viewers. 2010 was no exception.

The "Spring Festival Gala" programme is live on the air for five hours running straight through and beyond prime time from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Packed with performances from some of China's biggest stars, the show featured variety performances that included song and dance, comedic skits, acrobats and even magic.

CSM's National PeopleMeter Panel represents a TV universe of over 1.2 billion TV viewers in China. Results show the reach of this program was over 723 million viewers (over 58%). The program's average market share for the five hour time band was over 65% and the highest rated quarter hour occurred at 22:15 with a 36.1% rating. The show's highest quarter hour share rose to over 73% at 23:15. Whether measured by percentage or absolute population, the Spring Festival Gala has a truly mass audience following.

To further understand the story behind these overall numbers it is important to look at differences in the viewing of urban viewers and rural viewers. CSM's National PeopleMeter Panel data shows that overall viewing trends are similar in both urban and rural areas for the duration of the program. However, there are interesting differences to note as well. For every quarter hour of the broadcast the Rating %, Reach % and Share % figures are higher in urban than in rural areas. This indicates the program's influence in urban areas is quite strong and, from the numbers, even stronger than in rural areas.

Look at the Reach '000 figures and you see a different picture. With the majority of China's total population still residing in rural areas it is rural viewers who are the drivers behind the impressive reach figures.

With such strong viewing in both urban and rural areas, this year's viewing results again show the Spring Festival Gala's ability to attract mass audiences from all across China.

CSM Media Research is part of the Kantar Media network.

Search article