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Saturday Night Live Debuts Online in China

January 2, 2014  |  5:25pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i> Debuts Online in China

It might not air live or even on a Saturday, but Chinese viewers can finally watch America’s longest-running sketch comedy show. Thanks to an exclusive deal with Chinese media group Sohu.com, episodes of SNL will be available online to the world’s largest television audience the Monday after their American broadcast, the Associated Press reports. Subtitled episodes will then be uploaded later that week along with footnotes explaining American cultural references.

China has strict policies governing the broadcast of foreign channels, making international programing largely unavailable in the country, but rules are looser for streaming services like Tv.sohu.com. The site already carries a number of U.S. shows, including Homeland and The Big Theory, which was one of the first American programs it licensed.

Sohu CEO Charles Zhang dismissed suggestions that Saturday Night Live’s content could prove problematic in the notoriously repressive state, saying, “Things that are controversial in America are probably not controversial in China,” adding, “And this talk show is in the spirit of fun and humor. I don’t think there will be any problem.”

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