NEW YORK—Just weeks before the Beijing Olympics, millions of households in China are no longer able to receive the broadcast of the largest independent Chinese-language TV network. On Monday, June 16 at approximately 6:30 p.m., New Tang Dynasty Television's (NTDTV) broadcast into Asia was stopped.
NTDTV, widely known for being one of the few Chinese-language media not controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), had been broadcasting through the CCP's information blockade for four years through its satellite service.
“This is an urgent matter of highest importance to NTDTV and to our viewers who depend on us for uncensored news and information in Mainland China,” said Zhong Lee, President of NTDTV.
“The harm this interruption has caused to NTDTV and our audience must end,” said Lee. “We will spare no effort to obtain a full accounting of the situation and to restore NTDTV's open satellite broadcast over Asia as soon as possible.”
The cause of the downed signal is still unknown, and it is still to be seen when it will be restored. By normal practice, if a transponder goes down, it will be up to the satellite company to respond in a timely manner by providing an alternative service.
Eutelsat Communications, the satellite operator, said that its W5 satellite had experienced “an anomaly to part of its power generator subsystem” and it had “reduced by a small number the operating transponders on the satellite” in collaboration with the satellite's manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space.
Since the signal has gone down, NTDTV has received much support from audience members in China. The following are some of the messages received from China:
“We feel like we cannot breathe the fresh air if we cannot see NTDTV. We feel suffocated when we see the faked news and reports from other TV stations.”
“We cannot live without NTDTV. Please resume as soon as possible.”
“Anger: Have not been able to view NTDTV for several days. Really, really anxious.”
“We do not need to change channels when we watch NTDTV. This is a common feeling among many of our friends. If it really is a technical problem, Eutelsat, please fix it ASAP… We support NTDTV!”
NTDTV is an independent, nonprofit Chinese language TV broadcaster that began broadcasting via satellite in North America in February 2002. Headquartered in New York City, NTDTV currently has reporters and correspondents in over 50 cities worldwide. The network has gained an international reputation for its objective reporting of political, economic, and cultural stories in the Chinese language.