Tuesday, June 18, 2013

News Article: It's now or never, says frustrated free TV player

Interesting article from SCMP about HKTV and the licensing thing….

I have to say that I agree with Ricky Wong in that if the other 2 applicants no longer care whether they get their license or not, then why not just quit now rather than continue to waste money and energy on a project that doesn’t matter to them?  Honestly – people have been ‘complaining’ about Ricky Wong ‘burning’ his money filming so many series when he doesn’t even have his license yet (which I actually don’t see a problem with – I mean, come on…it’s his own money, so he should be able to do whatever he wants with it)….well, how about NowTV and i-Cable ‘wasting’ their money on a project that they could care less about? 

I’m probably in the minority when I say this, but my philosophy has always been: if you’re doing something that you could care less about or don’t have the passion for, then don’t waste time on it – instead, give that opportunity to someone else who DOES care and who DOES have the passion for it.  I actually get annoyed when I see people doing this (especially people who are in a more ‘privileged’ position or have the ability and financial means to pursue the opportunities they care about).  Just to give a real-life example:  I’ve seen some colleagues invest time and energy into competing for a high-up position at work not because they really care about the position (or even ‘want’ the position for that matter), but because it ‘looks cool’ or because going through the process will help them ‘boost’ their exposure within the company (those colleagues ended up quitting not too long after they got the positions they were competing for).  Honestly, why waste the time and effort to try and ‘get’ something that you’re only going to ‘toss aside’ later because you never really cared about that thing in the first place?  Especially when doing so means that you took away the chance for someone who truly cares about that thing to try for it and perhaps even get it?  

The same concept can be applied in this situation:  if NowTV and i-Cable no longer care about whether they get their license or not (for whatever reason), then what was the point of putting their names in the hat in the first place?  Given the recent ‘rumors’ that the government might only issue 1 or 2 licenses  (which means that the others will be ‘left out’), I can definitely understand why Ricky Wong would be upset with the other 2 companies changing their stance – especially if it ends up that HKTV turns out to be the company that is ‘left out’. (Sure, Ricky Wong is hugely confident that his company will receive their license, but to be honest, I feel he’s being overly optimistic).

In any case, it will be interesting to see how this whole situation pans out in the end…all eyes are pretty much on the HK government right now, waiting to see what their next move will be….I guess we will have to wait and see….


It's now or never, says frustrated free TV player
HKTV airs online premier of thriller as boss tells rivals to pull out if they don't want licence now

Article originally published June 15th, 2013

PCCW and i-Cable should quit the race for free-to-air television licences if they don't want one now, Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) boss Ricky Wong Wai-kay says.

"If you don't want the licence, drop your application," Wong told his rivals yesterday.

He was speaking before last night's online premiere of the first episode of HKTV crime thriller Borderline - the first time the station has offered a full run of any part of its yet-to-be released programme. Wong had pledged to show an episode when the channel's Facebook page reached 100,000 "likes" - a milestone it has just passed. "If I don't show it, fans will probably want to kill me," Wong said.

HKTV, PCCW and i-Cable Communications filed their applications for a free-to-air domestic TV licence more than three years ago but none has been granted. PCCW and i-Cable have agreed the licences should be postponed until 2015, when the licences of existing players TVB and ATV expire and they have to apply for a renewal.

"It's just like three students are scheduled to take an exam. Then one student calls in sick, the other says he hasn't done his revision. And you are asking the third student not to take the exam? They should just drop it and don't take this exam," Wong said.

Apparently keen to stay in the race, he strove last night to impress viewers with the first episode of Borderline. Starring former TVB veterans Liu Kai-chi, a Hong Kong Film Awards best supporting actor, and Dominic Lam Ka-wah, the big-production series was shot on location.

So Man-chung, who produced TVB's popular series Detective Investigation Files, is the chief director of Borderline.

Wong said the show deviated from TVB's conventional approach, looking to US dramas. While he was confident about the production quality, he said it would be tough to overcome the public's "emotional attachment" to TVB over the past 45 years.

Wong denied that the decision to air a full episode on HKTV's Facebook and YouTube channel was a result of pressure from staff, who have already produced eight TV drama series that have yet to see the light of day.

It was also not because HKTV could not wait any longer for the licence. He said the number of likes went up from 40,000 three weeks ago to over 100,000, and he was keeping his promise to show an episode.

Wong also denied trying to win public support to force the government to grant the licence swiftly, "but if the number of likes goes up from 100,000 to 500,000 all of a sudden, the government should look into this".

The number of views was not immediately available from YouTube. About 3,000 Facebook users liked the episode within two hours of it airing. Most comments on YouTube were positive.

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