StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

CCTV10: The Sizzle from China’s Science & Culture Channel, Reaching 136 Million Daily

  • CCTV9 The Documentary Channel came out with a blast at MIPDoc in Cannes last year.
  • Last month, it was CCTV10’s turn at Asian Side of the Doc in Chengdu.
  • CCTV10 is the public broadcaster dedicated to disseminating China’s Science and Culture.
  • The channel’s executive team presented an enthusiastic slate of new historical, ethnographic, nature and science specials.
  • Here’s how CCTV10 showed off its best stuff in Chengdu:

Some Numbers

  • Established in 2001, CCTV10’s ‘average daily audience is 136 million.’
  • Original documentary productions: 450 hours
  • Premieres: 750 hours
  • BTW, CCTV10 says that its average prime time audience is more than 60 million.


  • CCTV10’s remit overlaps with CCTV9.
  • Although the channels are part of the same government-run structure, they are highly competitive.
  • CCTV9 was barely a presence in Chengdu, but is the key sponsor of the Science and Factual Producers Congress in Beijing later in the year.


  • License fees for acquisitions are in the low $ thousands.
  • Like CCTV9’s rates, we hear that they are dropping.
  • Many co-productions are properly funded, particularly those with blue chip international partners.

More on ASD Chengdu

  • ASD was a terrific success, and I’ll write more about the highlights soon.
  • Congrats to executive director Yves Jeanneau and the ASD team for a great effort.
  • Thanks to Warren Chien for the presentation tape.


  • Hope to see many of you in Cannes.


  1. Fascinating And full of possibilities. I want to know more. I have completed 4 projects as copros in China, including 2 mini-series and 2 one offs, all with Chinese TV stations. These shows have been broadcast in China, Canada and elsewhere. I have another project in development. I am looking for a co-producing partner.

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