"The Voice of China" on Friday fetched a record sponsorship fee for its forthcoming second season after resounding success this summer fanned a gold rush around the variety show.
The program, a Chinese version of the Dutch series "The Voice of Holland," raised 1 billion yuan (160 million U.S. dollars) in advertisement bidding for its second season, which is scheduled to be broadcast next year.
The JDB Group, a Hong Kong-based herbal tea maker, won the exclusive naming rights for the second season with a bid of 200 million yuan, or over 13 million yuan per episode, smashing previous records for variety shows broadcast by local Chinese TV stations.
"After meticulous assessment, we believe the price is worth the value," said Wang Yuegui, who represented JDB in Friday's auction.
The company obtained the exclusive naming rights for the first season of "The Voice" with 60 million yuan, and the surge in price was expected due to the show's immense popularity.
Since being introduced by Zhejiang TV in east China's Zhejiang Province in July, "The Voice" has been applauded for focusing on grassroots talents and the judges' warm and inspiring remarks have attracted many fans -- a sharp contrast to the pungent sarcasm rife in Chinese talent shows.
The show's popularity has drawn record advertising revenue. Its final episode, staged on Sept. 30, attracted ad spending of 500,000 yuan per second.