The television industry in China includes high-tech program production, transmission and coverage. China Central Television is China’s largest and most powerful national television station. By the 1980s, two-thirds of people in China had access to television, while today, over 3,000 channels are available in the country.
Television censorship is conducted by State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television of People’s Republic of China (PRC) and targets the overseas programs (including those from Hong Kong and Macau), that can be watched in Mainland China. In addition receiving satellite TV signals without permission is against the law in Mainland China. Foreign and Hong Kong SAR news broadcasts in mainland China such as TVB, Phoenix TV, CNN, BBC World News, BBC World Service, CNBC and Bloomberg Television are occasionally censored by being “blacked out” during controversial segments. CNN has reported that their broadcast agreement in China includes an arrangement that their signal must pass through a Chinese-controlled satellite. In this way, Chinese authorities have been able to black out CNN segments at will. CNN has also said that their broadcasts are not widely available in China, but rather only in certain diplomatic compounds, hotels, and apartment blocks. Blacked out content has included references to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the Dalai Lama, the death of Zhao Ziyang, the 2008 Tibetan unrest, the Chinese milk scandal of 2008 and negative developments about the Beijing Olympics.