Golf Channel off the air during BRICS meeting


Former President of the Philippines Fidel Valdez Ramos plays a shot during the BFA Golf Invitation 2011 on April 14, 2011 in Boao, Hainan Province of China.



Much has already been said about tight controls on information from the China-hosted BRICS summit this week in Hainan.

Most journalists who traveled to China's far south for the event were barred from the main event — a "press briefing" consisting of speeches by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and Brazil. A joint trade ministers' press conference the day before allowed no questions. It was clear China was controlling the message, sequestering most foreign journalists in a media center off-site from the actual event.

But it seems the government was also concerned about what information entered Hainan during the BRICS summit and the Boao leaders forum that followed today. In a circular at one hotel, management apologized to guests that four foreign satellite channels would be blocked by the State Administration of National Security Bureau in hotels from April 11-18. The banned channels were not what you might expect; CNN was available.

Those on the list: German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Hong Kong entertainment channels NOW and Star World, and the Golf Channel. No further explanation was given, but the last is a particularly interesting choice given Hainan's reputation as a golf resort destination.