CETV, the Chinese-language entertainment channel majority-owned by AOL Time-Warner, has been granted additional broadcast rights in mainland China.

In a statement AOL Time-Warner said that the channel will be allowed to broadcast via cable networks in the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzen.

Since October 2001 it has been allowed to broadcast in the southern Guangdong province, giving it a legal reach of about one million homes. The new permit doubles that. CETV is also allowed in foreign resident compounds and luxury hotels.

The move confirms the step by step opening up of its market by China, which has this year granted permits to channels owned by News Corp, Phoenix Satellite Television (owned by Hong Kong's ATV and News Corp) and Bloomberg.

Many foreign channels are available illegally by satellite.