Beijing – Sohu Video is now airing NBC’s Saturday Night Live exclusively online to China viewers, according to the AP. The late-night U.S. comedy sketch show that regularly mocks politicians, popular culture and celebrities is being shown exclusively on the website, a unit of Chinese online media group and Nasdaq-listed Sohu.com Inc.
Ten episodes from the current 39th season of the show are available now, while future episodes will be available online immediately after airing in the United States. Chinese subtitles and explanations of cultural references will be available the following Saturday, Sohu said in its recent announcement.
Chinese films and TV shows are routinely censored to prevent criticism of leaders or socially sensitive content, including sexually suggestive humor, and Saturday Night Live frequently tests those boundaries.
Sohu Chairman and CEO Charles Zhang said he didn’t expect the show’s edgy themes to get them into trouble in China. “Things that are controversial in America are probably not controversial in China,” he said. “And this talk show is in the spirit of fun and humour. I don’t think there will be any problem.”
China’s government also restricts foreign access to the country’s television audience and bars most of its cable operators from carrying foreign channels. Online video provides more access for foreign productions.
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