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China's Spring Festival Gala sets record with 1.17 billion viewers

2019-02-07 03:50:03 CGTN

The 2019 Spring Festival Gala, also known as Chunwan in Chinese, which was held on Monday evening, has set a new viewership record with more than 1.17 billion viewers at home and abroad, according to its broadcaster China Media Group (CMG).

The grand TV event, hailed as the most watched live television program in China, is in its 36th edition this year. The viewing figures, taken from all platforms during the live broadcast, are up about 42 million over the same period last year.

A total of 239 domestic TV channels broadcast the gala live on Lunar New Year's Eve, which fell on February 4 this year, while audiences from 163 countries and regions simultaneously watched the TV show through 218 overseas platforms.

The gala has been a fixture of the Spring Festival celebrations since it was first broadcast live by China Central Television (CCTV) in 1983.

It is a four-hour extravaganza broadcast live running from 8:00 p.m. through to midnight, and has become a new tradition as family members and friends gather together and stay up late to watch and to ring in the first day of the Chinese New Year.

More than 621.4 million people in China and another 24.8 million overseas watched the show on television. At the same time, a remarkably increasing number of 527 million viewers watched it on new media platforms, including apps, websites, video-streaming sites, and social media.

High-tech, new media light up

Under the theme of "Forging Ahead in the New Era and Celebrating a Happy Year," this gala was the first to be held since the establishment of the CMG, which was formed in April 2018 through the merger of China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio (CNR) and China Radio International (CRI).

More than 20 CCTV, CNR, and CRI channels broadcasted the show live. It was also streamed online, with special content featured on the three's websites.

Aside from CMG's platforms, emerging commercial media including IQiyi, Tencent and Youku, became strategic partners for the first time, and more than 3.37 million users interacted with the show through short video app Douyin, also known as Tik Tok.

Today's hottest technological achievements were also used. For the first time, the gala was broadcast live in 4K ultra high-definition over a 5G network.

Real-time VR transmissions were also broadcast through a 5G network live from the sub-venues of Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong Province, and Changchun, in northeast China's Jilin Province.

According to the statistics, the 2019 gala's online approval ratings hit a whopping 97 percent.

Hot hashtags and posts spring up

The gala also stirred heated discussion online and generated numerous hot hashtags online.

A total of 9.47 million posts about the Spring Festival Gala were made on the Internet during the broadcast, and 96.98 percent of the comments were positive.

During the same period of time, relevant content with the hashtag of "Chunwan" on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like social media platform, received 6.34 billion views. Almost all of the top 10 hot hashtags were gala-related.

A combination of screenshots showing the posts of TFboys and actress Qin Lan about the gala on Weibo.

Celebrities who performed at the gala, such as boyband TFboys, actor Zhu Yilong, and actress Qin Lan, shared their feelings and sent New Year wishes in their Weibo posts, which received considerable comments and reposts.

The country's biggest TV carnival has also drawn wide attention worldwide. The Spring Festival Gala received 328,800 mentions on the Internet overseas.

CGTN's official account on Facebook observed more than 170 million interactions that discussed the gala's performances, ranking first among global news media.

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