'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' Launches on Chinese Video Site Sohu

Ellen DeGeneres Oscars Host PR 3 - P 2014
ABC/Andrew Eccles

Ellen DeGeneres Oscars Host PR 3 - P 2014

"Ellen" becomes the first American daily talk show to be carried in China, with episodes subtitled in Chinese and delivered within 48 hours of the original broadcast in the U.S.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has become the first U.S. daily talk show to be carried in China after its launch on the online video site Sohu.com, with episodes subtitled in Chinese and available within 48 hours of the original broadcast stateside.

The episodes from the 11th season on Sohu will be available for viewers on demand 24-7, remaining on Sohu until the license period ends, Sohu.com chief executive Charles Zhang and Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, said in a statement.

"Sohu offers Chinese Internet users a diversified portfolio of top-quality content, with a wide coverage of hot TV dramas, animation and now U.S. talk shows," said Zhang. "The Ellen DeGeneres Show is one of the most well-known talk shows in the U.S., and we believe it could also have strong appeal and relevance with the Chinese audience."

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Zhang has been busy buying up U.S. content of late, and the arrival of Ellen comes hot on the heels of Saturday Night Live. Zhang says these shows, along with the legal purchase of shows like Mob City, combined with a series of landmark legal victories, will spearhead industry efforts to combat piracy and woo Chinese audiences to watch legitimate U.S. content in the world's biggest online market.

China's online video market has started to emerge as a viable distribution channel for Hollywood content producers, with a raft of top U.S. TV series, such as The Walking Dead and Modern Family, selling to Sohu.com, Youku Tudou and other streaming services.

One of the biggest sensations lately is the BBC TV show Sherlock, which is generating millions of clicks and creating spectacular buzz online on the Chinese video hosting site Youku.

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With nearly 600 million people using the internet, the size of China's online video market has long set pulses racing in Hollywood.

The market remains heavily censored, but Ellen should work better here than the more conflict-oriented talk shows, which might stretch the patience of the censors.

"It has become an increasingly positive alternative in daytime featuring the biggest stars from the worlds of film, television and music," said Schlesinger.

"We are thrilled that Ellen will now be seen in China and is the first U.S. talk show available there."