Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Thoughts on CTI’s ‘Sales Presentation and Name Changing’ Ceremony: “The Birth of a TV Station” – Part 1

In the next couple posts, I will be sharing some of my thoughts on CTI’s recent ‘sales presentation’ event as well as providing a few updates on some of their upcoming programs.

**Disclaimer:  The below is NOT a news article but rather, a ‘recap’ of my thoughts on the sales presentation event that CTI held on 12/4.  Other than the information gathered from various news sources and Weibo, the rest of the commentary is strictly my personal opinion.**

Quick Intro

As most of you probably know, CTI’s “Sales Presentation” event officially took place on December 4th.   The main purpose of the event of course was to give audiences a preview of the 12 series and variety programs that CTI has to offer (when they finally get their free-to-air license, that is), however it was also a ‘party’ of sorts where CTI’s close to 200 artists (technically more if you count the behind-the-scenes staff) got the chance to dress up in beautiful, grand outfits and have a good time – many of the artists even went on stage to perform and/or introduce their series. 

In addition to giving audiences a ‘preview’ of their upcoming programs, the other purpose of the event was for CTI’s chairman Ricky Wong to formally ‘establish’ the television arm of CTI by revealing the station’s ‘official’ name (and logo):  Hong Kong Television [and Web] Limited (HKTV) [香港電視網] -- hence the ‘slogan’ for the event was “the birth of a TV station”.

Here are a few pics from the event that were uploaded to Weibo throughout the event (more pictures to come in future posts).  *All picture credited as listed*

CTI's new name and logo
CTI group picture (all artists and behind the scenes staff)
List of CTI's TV series and variety programs

Partial poster spread setup showcasing CTI's series

CTI’s New Name:  Coincidence or Not?

Before I get into talking about thoughts on the event itself, I have to make a comment about CTI’s new name.  The shortened version of the name in English is “Hong Kong Television” (acronym HKTV) and in Chinese it’s “香港電視”. 

If you’re one of those people (like me) who has been following HK entertainment and TVB for a long time, you may find that the name “香港電視” sounds familiar…if you do, well don’t worry, you’re not going crazy – the name HAS been used before.  By whom?  You guessed it:  TVB!

Just to give some background for those who might not know….

香港電視 (Hong Kong Television) was the name given to TVB’s official magazine when the station was established back in 1967 (the first issue came out in November 1967 around the same time the station was created).  The name was used for nearly 3 decades until May 1997, when TVB decided to ‘separate’ itself from services unrelated to running a TV station and so they sold the magazine to South China Morning Post.  However in that same month (May 1997) – a few days after they sold the magazine – TVB rolled out “TVB” (TVB Weekly Magazine), as their ‘official’ company magazine (a decision that still doesn’t make much sense to me to this day – there was probably some other ‘reason’ behind why TVB decided to sell off the rights to the magazine).  In any case, 香港電視 officially closed down not after that and the last issue of the magazine came out in August 1997.

Ok, so back to CTI’s name change….given the background of the name “香港電視”, can it be a ‘coincidence’ that Ricky Wong decided to give his new television station this particular name?  When Ricky Wong gave his speech on stage, he explained the reason why the station was named in this manner is because they wanted CTI to be ‘the HK people’s TV station’ – so basically, a TV station that could truly represent HK and that HK citizens could be proud of.  Ok, sure, I buy that (no, I’m not being sarcastic here) – the explanation sounds valid enough and seems to be in line with the ‘message’ that Mr. Wong has been trying to send all this time.  The part I DON’T buy is that there isn’t an ‘ulterior reason’ for Ricky Wong choosing that particular name for his TV station – after all, it CAN’T be a coincidence that the name was formerly linked to TVB, and for a long time too (well, it’s hard for ME to believe, at least).

With all that said, the ‘coincidence’ in the name is probably a ‘moot point’ now, since TVB’s response is that they already gave up that name a long time ago, so anyone is free to use it if they wish.  But still….just thought it was interesting enough to bring up….


My Thoughts on Media Coverage of the Event

Ok, so on to the actual event itself….

The atmosphere actually felt more like an ‘anniversary gala’ than it did a sales presentation -- I hate to compare, but I have to be honest and say that CTI’s sales preso event felt so much more ‘grand’ and ‘exciting’ than TVB’s sales presentation that took place last month (in fact, I actually got bored watching TVB’s sales preso and didn’t even bother ‘following up’ much about it on Weibo….whereas, I didn’t even watch the CTI event yet but already got all “emotional” about it after looking through pictures and reading up on it in the news and on Weibo).  Perhaps it’s because majority of the artists who work for CTI now are the veteran, truly talented actors/actresses whom I grew up watching on TV (and in movies) over the past few decades and so I have more of an ‘emotional’ attachment to many of them – which is why when I see them now finally getting the “recognition” and “respect” that they should have gotten long ago, it makes me feel happy inside!

Reading about the event on the various artists' and behind the scenes personnel's Weibos, I could actually 'feel' the comraderie and high morale of those involved and it actually made me feel excited for them!  Unfortunately though, the feelings were totally different when it came to reading about the event via the mainstream HK Media....

In the day or so since CTI's event took place, I've read quite a few news articles about the event -- in almost every article, the comparison is made between CTI's sales presentation event and TVB's special 'Anniversary Awards Promotional Event' that took place on the same day (which I don't doubt in the least was put together last minute to 'counter' CTI's event).  Honestly, it kind of ticked me off to some extent to read those articles because it seems that the overall Media ‘reaction’ to CTI’s event was relatively 'negative' (actually, the general Media seems to be portraying CTI in a negative light overall lately…but that’s another topic that I’ll save for another day…).

Many of the articles  stated something to the effect that even though TVB only gathered 60 artists for their event versus CTI’s higher number of 188 artists, CTI still ‘loses’ by miles because their artists don’t have as much ‘name recognition’ as TVB’s artists – some articles even went so far as to say that TVB had many young, popular, first/second line siu sangs and fa dans in attendance [at their Anniversary Awards promo event] whereas CTI only had a bunch of newbies and ‘old, worthless kelefe’ artists whom younger audiences don’t even know or care about!   Um, ok…everyone is subject to their own opinions and if that’s the ‘angle’ that the HK Media wants to present, there’s nothing I can do about it (nor do I care enough about the HK Media to WANT to do anything about it) – I just want to be clear though that the HK Media certainly DOES NOT represent my opinion whatsoever. 

Sure, many of the artists working for CTI are not ‘first/second line siu sangs / fa dans’, but they certainly AREN’T ‘old, worthless kelefes’ either!!   In my opinion,  if I were to pool together the 188 artists that attended the CTI event versus the 60 artists that attended the TVB event, the CTI artists are ‘worth more weight in gold’ to me than the TVB ones because of their acting experience and skill.  Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that TVB doesn’t have any good artists because they absolutely do have some (though not a lot anymore compared to what they used to have in the 80s / 90s) – in fact, quite a few of my favorite artists whom I’ve been ‘following’ for decades and have the utmost respect and ‘love’ for still work for TVB (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that)….BUT by the same token, that doesn’t mean that CTI or its artists are ‘worthless’ because they don’t have the same level of ‘notoriety’ that TVB’s artists do!

Basically, my point is this:   I’m simply trying to ‘refute’ the Media’s (and certain audiences’) claim that TVB is ‘better’ because they have more ‘popular, widely recognized’ artists who are in the 1st/2nd line siu sang / fadan position.  To me, ‘popularity’ and ‘position’ don’t matter one single bit – it’s the quality that counts!   As I’ve said many times before, I would much rather watch a series where the cast consists mostly of older, ‘less popular’ 2nd / 3rd/4th line artists who have acting talent and who deliver solid, quality performances rather than a series consisting of young, ‘popular’ 1st/2nd line artists who can’t act to save their lives (and can’t speak proper Cantonese to save their lives either!).  To me, true ‘worth’ as an actor / actress is determined by how good the acting is and the consistency of it – NOT how much ‘news’ an artist is able to generate or how much money he/she is able to make (for the company or for themselves). 

The lesson here:  Be careful which Media sources you choose to read AND take what you read with 'a grain of salt' because no matter how 'reputable' or 'impartial' a Media outlet claims to be, there will always be bias of some's pretty much unavoidable...



  1. LLwy12 are you going to post the links to CTI's sales presentation? I want to watch it! =)

  2. @sport3888: Yes, I probably will, once I find good links! Most of the stuff I've found are bits and pieces here and there. Meanwhile though, check out CTI's (or should I say "HKTV") Facebook page -- they posted some clips from the dress rehearsals for the sales preso program (I'm planning on posting those clips myself in the next post).

    As for the actual clips of the series themselves -- doesn't look like they are going to get posted up anytime soon. From the message they posted on their Facebook page, it appears that they are going to wait and see how many "likes" they get on their page...

  3. “With all that said, the ‘coincidence’ in the name is probably a ‘moot point’ now, since TVB’s response is that they already gave up that name a long time ago, so anyone is free to use it if they wish. But still….just thought it was interesting enough to bring up…”

    With some imagination, I can easily spin this ‘moot point’ into something noteworthy.

    Analogy: Dynasty fell because during its reign its Emperor did not fulfill his obligations as a virtuous emperor thus lost the "Mandate of Heaven" to rule.

    香港電視 (Hong Kong Television) = A television station for the HK people. Though pretty generic sounding the name does have a ring of HK pride in it. That’s probably why TVB originally came up with it hoping to connect its viewers with this HK pride. However, once established, the generic HK pride was put out to pasture for a more egoistical and individualistic brand name, its very own TVB pride. (TVB Weekly Magazine) After all TVB is now a celebrity in its own right. Obviously, TVB has lost sight of the “mandate of HK people”, so that over the years so engorged with pride it neglects to fulfill its obligation to its viewers, which is to provide good quality television entertainment. Instead now it has become first and foremost a celebrities-churning factory.

    By re-using the TVB’s discarded name, ‘Hong Kong Television’, Ricky goes back to the times where TVB was still first and foremost a quality tv station for the HK people unlike now. So symbolically by re-using HKTV, Ricky is in effect picking up where TVB dropped the ‘mandate of HK viewers’, so to speak, to establish a new tv dynasty in HK.

    But of course from the viewpoint of TVB: Ricky is an unoriginal wannabe, and many steps behind them, picking up their discarded spoil.

    Above link has a better picture of CTI's tv series line-up.

  5. @tamaya: Excellent analysis! In fact, your 'explanation' makes alot more sense than anything that the parties involved have been able to come up with. LOL! :-)

    I don't doubt for a minute that the 'egotistical pride' thing was a huge factor as to why TVB got rid of the HKTV name and changed it to TVB Weekly instead -- their 'excuse' of wanting to get rid of services that weren't related to running a TV station made no sense because they came out with their own version of the magazine the very next day after they stopped the HKTV one! Now THAT's contradictory to the 'nth' degree!