Sohu.com, China’s number three internet portal, said it will launch video coverage of next year’s Olympics in a bid to attract advertisers, the Economic Daily reported. Sohu, an official partner of the Olympics, is competing against leading Chinese websites that have formed an alliance to report the Games. It said its video coverage will carry interviews with gold medalists immediately after they are crowned, plus the latest updates on Chinese teams and prominent athletes like 110m hurdles star Liu Xiang. “We’ll offer an excellent platform for our partners to reach their customers through an online marketing campaign,” said Cheng Luming, vice president of the portal. “We’ll team up with China Interactive Sports [an affiliate to the state sports authority].” According to Morgan Stanley, Sohu lifted its advertising rates by 37% in the second and third quarters, against a usual annual increase of 15%, thanks to strong online advertising demand boosted by the Olympics. Its brand advertising revenues were up 38% year-on-year to US$26.6 million in the second quarter, accounting for 94% of its total advertisement revenues. Sina.com – China’s top portal – launched a similar campaign last week for potential advertisers.

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