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TV licences approved in principle

October 15, 2013
The Chief Executive in Council approved in principle today domestic free television programme service licences for Fantastic Television and Hong Kong Television Entertainment Company.
Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Gregory So said the CE in Council decided on a gradual and orderly approach to introducing competition, and promoting healthy development in the free television market.
The CE in Council rejected Hong Kong Television Network’s application.

In making the decision Mr So said the CE in Council considered the Communications Authority’s recommendations, statutory requirements, and the assessment criteria in the authority’s Guidance Note for Those Interested in Applying for Domestic Free Television Programme Service Licences in Hong Kong.
Other factors were the overall sustainability of the free television market, the consultant’s reports on the competition implications of new entrants, all representations and responses, latest developments, all public views received, the Government’s prevailing broadcasting policy, and public interest.
Mr So said it did not preclude the possibility of allowing more free television operators in future.
According to the two approved broadcasters’ proposals, a total of two channels will be provided within 12 months after the grant of the licences. Fantastic TV will invest $1 billion in the first six years, and Hong Kong Television Entertainment Company will invest $600 million in the first three years.
Mr So said the decision will bring more investment into local programme production, providing more choices for viewers, and creating more job opportunities in the creative industries.
The Government will discuss with the two broadcasters their proposed licence conditions, and submit recommendations to the CE in Council on whether a free television licence should be formally granted. The CE in Council will review the recommendations and make a final decision.