Though online variety shows were widely expected to dominate in the Chinese market in 2016, recent research shows that TV variety shows were more prominent last year.
More than 140 variety shows went on air last year through China's satellite TV stations and were broadcast on weekend nights.
In comparison, less than 120 shows were released through internet in 2016, according to a forum in Beijing on Friday organized by Chuanmei Neican, or Media Internal Reference, the biggest TV industry analyst public account on WeChat.
Nine Chinese TV variety shows in 2016 attracted 2 billion viewers or more, among which Running Man topped the list.
Nevertheless, online variety shows are expected to do well this year.
IQiyi, China's major online video platform, plans to produce 37 online variety shows this year, and Tencent, another internet giant, is scheduled to release 29.
Meanwhile, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television released a set of policies in the second half of 2016 to regulate the content of such shows.