China's CCTV advertising sales hit 19-year high at $2.5 bln

SHANGHAI Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:27pm EST

SHANGHAI Nov 19 (Reuters) - China's state television said it sold 15.8 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) of advertising spots for next year, the most in 19 years and up nearly 11 percent from a year earlier, amid expectations that the economy would quicken its recovery in 2013.

China Central Television's (CCTV) annual advertising auction is seen as a barometer for the domestic economy, with ad spending rising by about one-and-a-half times gross domestic product growth in each of the past several years.

The auction, which took place in Beijing on Sunday, lasted about 12 hours and netted gains that were 10.7 percent higher than the previous year.

Local media reported that Chinese consumer companies such as China Huiyuan Juice spent over 339 million yuan to sponsor a popular talent show while herbal tea-maker Jia Duobao spent 200 million yuan to sponsor another talent show. Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings spent more than 200 million yuan for two months of advertising.

In recent years, online video companies like Youku Tudou Inc and iQiyi.com, which is owned by Baidu Inc, have started competing with CCTV for advertising dollars given their reach to a younger and wealthier audience.

CCTV typically attracts an older demographic.

China's economy showed further signs of recovery from its slowest growth in three years as data for October showed infrastructure investment accelerating and output from the country's factories running at its fastest in five months.