Flamboyant TV host Li Yong has been ranked as China's most
bankable TV personality, with a projected brand value of 500
million yuan (US$60 million).
Wang Xiaoya, Li's colleague at China Central Television (CCTV)
and Dou Wentao, who works for Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television,
came second and third with projected brand values of 340 million
yuan (US$42.5 million) and 320 million yuan (US$40 million)
The annual rating, conducted by World Brand Laboratory and
released yesterday, is regarded as an authoritative measure of the
value of Chinese television celebrities.
The top 10 most bankable hosts on the list, five men and five
women, had a total projected brand value of 2.5 billion yuan
Li has ranked first each time since the launch of the list in
2004. Li is the host of programmes "Lucky 52" and "Dream of China,"
and for the last five years he has hosted the prestigious CCTV
Spring Festival Gala.
For the first time two provincial television hosts, including
"Super Girls" host Wang Han, made the list.
Analysts said brand value has been a backbone of the
entertainment, advertising and sports industries for decades.
Ding Haisen of World Brand Laboratory told reporters that the
purpose of the ranking is to promote brand awareness and emphasize
the value of popular hosts.
While Li's value seems impressive, it is just 4.4 percent of the
queen of US daytime TV Oprah Winfrey, Ding said.
Oprah's show attracts a weekly audience of 30 million in the
United States, while Li is seen by 50 million.
"It shows that we do not pay enough attention to the value of TV
hosts and their brand," Ding said.
(China Daily August 31, 2006)