Fieldsports Channel’s programmes are the second most-watched UK-made series in China after Downton Abbey. That’s the conclusion of research by Chinese online TV website Youku i.youku.com/fieldsports
Translated into Mandarin, weekly hunting TV show Fieldsports Britain, fishing show Fishing Britain, and airgunning show AirHeads have been watched more than 10 million times on Youku.
Fieldsports Channel started its popular weekly show Fieldsports Britain on YouTube five years ago, on the Glorious 12th August 2009. It launched a channel on Youku in China a year ago.
“Mao may have banned hunting and shooting in 1949 but ‘the British Adventure Channel’ as we are called in China has captured the Chinese imagination,” says Fieldsports Channel presenter Charlie Jacoby. “The Chinese view of the UK is coloured by Downton Abbey’s fictional huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ set of the first half of the 20th century and our fieldsports documentaries from the 21st.”
Among programme highlights, Fieldsports Channel
- took a cheetah to Essex to catch rabbits
- filmed a secret Chinese hunting resort close to Shanghai
- dressed a dead piglet in baby clothes, covered it in baby oil and put it in a pram in a London garden to see how long it took for a fox to grab it (10 minutes)
- exposed the RSPCA for killing a golden eagle through neglect
- exposed the League Against Cruel Sports for trespassing in order to hide movement-sensitive cameras
- exposed The Fox Project for releasing foxes next to free-range chicken units
- exposed animal rights activist Brian May for renting out deerstalking on his land
Fieldsports Channel’s programmes are available to watch on YouTube (1 million views a month – more than almost every programme available on Sky), WordPress, Facebook, Tumblr, DailyMotion, LiveLeak, Blinkx.com, via hunting/shooting/fishing forums including PigeonWatch and YesWeHunt, on email bit.ly /weeklyemail and via Twitter.
All Fieldsports Channel programmes are offered free for cable channels around the world to use, and programmes are currently available on cable in Lisbon, Portugal, the San Diego area of California, and launching soon in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Fieldsports Channel’s recently signed with ViewMy.TV.
“Fieldsports Channel is a good fit for ViewMy.tv‘s offer around the world,due to its popularity in China where we want to grow our viewership, and we hope to drive growth in audiences where we have a strong user base in the US, and UK,” says ViewMy.TV CEO Stephen Ong.
Charlie Jacoby adds: “I am amazed that terrestrial and satellite TV has ignored the hunting/shooting story for the last 60 years, or treated it as ‘capital-C’ Controversial. I am glad YouTube is leaving them behind in terms of audience.
“Our growth has been spectacular and shows the popularity of hunting and shooting sports around the world. Where we count our views in millions, ‘shock’ films by the anti-hunting organisations achieve just a few thousand views. YouTube and Youku are the new democracy.”
Notes for editors
For free-use high-res pictures of Charlie shooting in China, please visit:
Chinese hunting resort – www.flickr.com/photos/fieldsportschannel/sets/72157634231753070
Pheasant shooting in China – www.flickr.com/photos/fieldsportschannel/sets/72157634231735826
Charlie Jacoby and David Wright founded Fieldsports Channel in 2009. In addition, Charlie and David run the YouTube corporate consultancy YouTubeHelp.Guru
PS… Charlie Jacoby was at Sherborne School with Hugh Bonneville in the 1980s. Hugh was head boy. Charlie didn’t make prefect.