It’s probably the only such 24-hour online reality show in the world where the stars are not men and women out to prove their intelligence or guts but cuddly giant pandas going about their daily lives in gardens reserved for them.
The new panda online channel – ipanda.com -- was officially launched in Beijing on Tuesday amid officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC), NGOs working on animal protection and foreign diplomats.
It’s the world’s only round-the-clock and real time live broadcast of giant pandas.
The panda is unique to China and the channel’s goal, as state media described it on Tuesday, was to convey the idea of “peace, friendliness and the greater public good.”
The China Network Television (CNTV), a state-owned entity, has installed 28 high-definition video cameras in five garden areas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in southwest China’s Sichuan province to follow the animals, hugely popular worldwide for their cute looks and soft nature.
A fully equipped on-site television control room will ensure that the directors will be able to watch and switch between the different cameras.
“Program directors will pick 11 cameras that capture the best footage for broadcast online,” CNTV officials told state-run Xinhua news agency.
“Apart from live broadcasts, ipanda.com will also offer a new 30-minute panda-themed program each day and panda documentaries produced by CNTV, all on demand. These programs can also be watched via mobile terminals and will be available in both Chinese and English,” it said.
Viewers will have the option of choosing from six categories including “garden for adult pandas”, “kindergarten” and “mother and child”.
Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 300 live in captivity.