Celestial buys 100 hours of SMG programming

Music, talk shows all part of first-run broadcast deal

SHANGHAI -- Hong Kong-based Chinese entertainment company Celestial Pictures' on Thursday bought over 100 hours of programming from Shanghai Media Group's WingsMedia at the 16th Shanghai Television Festival.

The concerts, talks shows and infotainment series Celestial licensed from SMG/Wings will air in their first run exclusively on WaTV, Celestial's four-year-old Mandarin-language, general entertainment channel in Malaysia and Brunei.

The purchase comes as China's government and the television festival -- hosted by state-run SMG -- are pushing Chinese media and entertainment content as a means of developing a broader sphere of global influence.

Among the programs purchased is "The World Expo International Music Extravaganza," produced for the ongoing Shanghai Expo 2010 and featuring Korean pop singer Rain and Taiwan pop star Coco Lee.

Celestial also bought the financial talk show "Boss Town," featuring off-beat interviews with top business executives and entertainers such as Jet Li, star of the rumored opening night film at this weekend's Shanghai International Film Festival, "Ocean's Paradise."

Another show purchased was "Fashionista," a series that sends correspondents to New York, Tokyo, Paris, London to cover fashion trends and celebrity stories from a Chinese point of view, the companies said in a statement.

"Shanghai Media Group continues to produce some of the most entertaining and top quality programs in China and we look forward to working with WingsMedia to bring these programs exclusively to WaTV’s audience," said Ofanny Choi, Celestial's senior vice president for channel operations.

Choi signed the deal with Maggie Zhou, Wings deputy general manager, at the STVF, which ends Friday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
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