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April 24, 2001

Viacom's Entry Into China Revolves Around Reciprocity

Viacom has signed a landmark deal with China to launch Nickelodeon in 40 million Chinese households the first of May. The company looks forward to building a base in China, recognizing that in the next decade, some 65% of the people worldwide under 35, will be living in Asia.

Viacom is already bringing MTV to China under a 3-year pact. But their presence in China, along with the only other U.S. brand, Encore International, revolves around offers of reciprocity to the Chinese government. Both companies will carry a block of news programming produced by CCTV--China Central Television (the only national broadcasting network)--into American homes.

In short, in exchange for acting as ambassadors of goodwill and cultural exchange, Viacom and Encore International were welcomed into China.

The payoff should be huge, as China is the world's largest television market, based on the 300 million homes with TV sets--that's three times as many television households as in the United States.

MTV now co-produces the Mandarin Music Honours in partnership with CCTV. Viacom says that three times as many people watched the Mandarin awards show in China on CCTV as tuned in to the SuperBowl on Viacom's CBS network.

Viacom is considering bringing the Mandarin programming to the United States, to reach some of the 50 million Chinese living outside of China.

Here And There. . .

  • Frequent flyer miles, as noted in the past, have become a currency of their own. If you're looking for ways to use your miles, consider They have a Mileage Run forum where frequent-flyer fanatics share information that enables one to add the most miles, and learn other tricks of the trade.

  • NBCi, which spun off its small business portal AllBusiness to online barter company, is being purchased by NBC and then closing its doors.

    NBC's CFO Mark Begor and NBCi's chairman Will Lansing said the decision was made because advertising on the internet has virtually collapsed. Lansing also said that the portal business isn't viable. (NBCi ranked 13th among global media web networks, with 20.5 million unique visitors in January, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.)

  • Michael Jordan does another barter deal, this time with Upper Deck which produces and markets trading cards and memorabilia. In exchange for joining Upper Deck's board of directors, Jordan will receive an undisclosed stake in the Carlsbad, California, based company.

  • At the ITEX Annual Shareholders Meeting held April 4 in Sacramento, CEO Collie Christensen announced that the company has finally turned its focus from solving financial and legal problems, created in the past, to expanding its retail trade exchange...its core business in the future.

    He also revealed that the recent purchase of the Canadian assets of has added to ITEX's optimism for the future, as the trade volume in the first four week cycle of the new ITEX Toronto office reflected a three-fold increase over Ubarter's final month of operations with the same clients.

  • King World Productions, the syndication unit of CBS, has made a deal for Crime Scene Investigation, the popular new drama which airs on CBS. They are bartering "CSI" reruns to local television stations for a weekend run, in return for a percentage of advertising inventory which is then being aggregately packaged and sold to Viacom's National Network--reportedly for about $1.6 million per episode.

  • Looking for fancy decor, but don't have the money for colorful contemporary paintings that bespeak the pricey touch of a decorator? Try soliciting local artists to assist them with their hard-to-store oversized canvases. Such an exchange, use of your company's halls for temporary "storage" of their artwork, enables your office to become a gallery of sorts for local artists.

  •, a broadband gaming and entertainment internet portal, reported approximately $307,000 in revenues last year from bartering production services and advertising spots in exchange for magazine advertising, up from $102,000 in 1999.


We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
? Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.