New Free-to-Air TV License – A Short Commentary

Tonight is probably the first ever time that the people of Hong Kong has achieved a Facebook record.

Over 160,000 “Likes” were recorded less than FIVE HOURS after the page the Support HKTV was created on Facebook when the HKSAR Government announced that two new licenses are issued to Now TV and iCable. The application submitted by HKTV, founded by Ricky Wong, was denied.

The HKSAR Government refused to give any explanation on why the license was not issued to HKTV despite it was the first to apply amongst the three companies and that the company has already produced a number of dramas (HKTV promised not to have a news channel). Over a billion USD has been invested by the founder of HKTV, and the HKSAR Government granted HKTV a plot of land to establish its filming and broadcasting facilities years ago. It is awkward for the government to encourage HKTV to invest and continue to invest in a new TV channel but denied its application after years of waiting (and during these years, the channel has not stopped to produce programmes that trailers and episodes have received public support).

Going through old news and information available, it seems that the reason is clear despite the fact that the government refused to give an explanation…

In 2008, Ricky Wong joint ATV (a local TV channel infamous for its blinded pro-China and communist stance) and declared that he’d undergo a major reform: “ATV is not going to be CCTV’s Channel 10” and “ATV will not rely on advertisements placed by Chinese companies”. He was later on “resigned” from his position because of controversial comments he made.

This (not backing CCP/China) is something that surely would upset China, and it is in CCP’s nature not to forgive. So naturally, the HKSAR (aka HKSARCCP) Government would be told/informed/warned that a free-to-air TV license must not be issued to Ricky Wong, an “anti-revolutionary”! They want to get rid of him for good, so lured him to invest and it is possible that he would go bankrupt and HKTV will be gone – the set up of HKTV have essentially broke TVB’s monopoly (let’s face it, no one watches ATV really), actors left TVB because of the unfair and harsh contract terms (e.g. not allowed to speak Cantonese in any broadcasting channels even though many actors don’t speak Mandarin) – they stayed purely because there are no other options in the market.

For years, TVB and ATV are being accused of reporting news that are often taken out of context or sometimes have misleading/incorrect information. ATV, particularly, for its appalling productions (there aren’t many really), have been asked to close down for years – they broadcast the same programme over and over again for years, and repeat the same programmes within the same week. By controlling the media, the HKSAR Government essentially controls the way people think.

This is just a brief view on this news. Let’s see how this unfold.

Over and out!

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