"The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,'' Walt Disney's full-length animated movie masterpiece, has become a best-loved cartoon programme on Channel 14 of China Central Television (CCTV), China's first children's channel, which was launched on December 28.
Disney will sponsor a painting competition entitled "Winnie the Pooh in China'' to attract more children to join the world of the lovable bear and his friends.
Targeting youngsters up to 18 years of age, the 24-hour channel will feature a diverse range of genres, including animation, live-action, comedy, science fiction, games, sports and preschool programmes.
The programmes are aired according to the general study and rest routines of children and teenagers of different age groups.
Aside from the 26 regular programmes, CCTV 14 will broadcast additional children's movies and TV series during the summer and winter vacations.
The station has also formed a consultant committee composed of TV directors, established educators and other respected celebrities to ensure the quality of programming on the channel. It is expected to review the programmes every month.
"We will try our best to make the channel a friend of children, an assistant for parents and an additional educational programme for schools,'' said Zhao Huayong, president of CCTV.
Yu Peixia, director of CCTV's Youth and Children Department, said: "The channel will provide novel programmes of rich variety and our staff will take the children's physical and mental health into consideration.''
Many of children's favourite show hosts, such as Ju Pin and Dong Hao, are featured on the channel.
Meanwhile, CCTV is seeking partners from abroad. Nickelodeon, the No 1 rated 24-hour children's channel in the United States, has signed a co-operation contract with CCTV to offer young audiences access to Nickelodeon on a daily basis on CCTV 14.
The channel will provide 30 minutes of Nickelodeon original programming each day.
Li Yifei, managing director of MTV, which owns Nickelodeon's China rights, is very pleased about the strategic partnership between Nickelodeon and CCTV.
"We are extremely honoured that Nickelodeon has become one of the first content partners of CCTV's Children Channel,'' said Li.
"This is the beginning of a long-term co-operation between two media giants in developing quality programme for young audiences.
I hope that our partnership brings more entertaining yet educational programmes that have positive influences to the children in China,'' Li said.
Richard Cunningham, managing director of Nickelodeon Asia in Singapore, added: "More children will now be exposed to the world's only multi-media company dedicated exclusively to children.
They will not only get to see Nickelodeon on CCTV, but get to experience it firsthand through future events and activities which will be created just for China.''
(China Daily January 8, 2004)