Spacemen top earthquake heroes in ratings


SHANGHAI -- China Central Television's live broadcast of a government ceremony to honor earthquake relief efforts drew only 4% of the viewers who tuned into the network's recent coverage of China’s latest space launch.

AGB Nielsen data shows that only 0.28% of Chinese viewers tuned into flagship channel CCTV-1 on Oct. 8 to catch the  two-hour ceremony presided over by the nation's top leaders. The TV event was to honor individuals and institutions that helped after an earthquake killed 70,000 people in Sichuan on May 12.

That translates into 1.4 million people per minute on average across the 13 Chinese TV markets AGB Nielsen tracked, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, the nation's largest.

By comparison, 7.1% of Chinese viewers tracked watched CCTV's live coverage of the Sept. 25 launch of the Shenzhou VII rocket, and stayed tuned for an average of 40 minutes, AGB Nielsen data showed.

Astronaut Zhai Zhigang, became an instant celebrity as the first Chinese man to walk in space on Sept. 27.