Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NEWS ARTICLE: HKTV may get worldwide audience – except Hong Kong

Here's the latest article on HKTV....based on the below, it looks like HKTV will move forward with selling their series to overseas buyers later this year.  This is definitely good news for those of us who live overseas, since it means that we will get to watch their series for sure.  Of course, this also means that Hong Kong audiences won't get to watch (in fact, they may never get to watch), since the HK government hates Ricky Wong with a passion and will do everything they can to push him out of HK.  I'm not trying to be mean or facetious, since, at the end of the day, I will always be a Hong Konger at heart....but honestly, this is one of those times where I'm SO GLAD that I don't live in HK (and it's not just because of the HKTV issue -- the tense political and social environment over there right now is more than I would be able to bear).

Anyway....glad to read some good news about HKTV (looks like there's hope in this world after all).  I'm sure there will be more to come about this in the coming months, so I'll definitely stay tuned!

HKTV may get worldwide audience – except Hong Kong

Source:  SCMP

Article published March 26, 2014

Hong Kong Television Network shows could be available to TV viewers across the world – except Hong Kong – as early as this autumn.
Forced to postpone its launch date indefinitely, the station aims to close deals to sell its programmes to overseas buyers in the third quarter after further discussions at Filmart, the largest industry trade fair in Asia, now under way at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Shut out of the city’s free-to-air market by failure to get a licence and with questions hanging over its plan for a mobile service, HKTV is offering 15 drama series titles with 208 episodes and four variety shows with 68 episodes.
Chief executive To Wai-bing said there had been strong interest from international buyers and HKTV was in the final discussions for the sales. She said some buyers had offered to pay more than they did for TVB shows.
“We hope our shows can be released simultaneously around the region,” To said.
She said interest had come from traditional television stations as well as mainland web TV portals.
But since HKTV’s application for a free-to-air licence was rejected last October, and the mobile plan has been delayed because of the dispute over transmission standards, HKTV shows will be available to overseas viewers earlier than viewers in the station’s hometown.
“We hope Hong Kong can watch our shows too,” To said. “We don’t want Hong Kong to be left behind,”
HKTV obtained a mobile TV licence by acquiring China Mobile Hong Kong in December for HK$142 million. It chose to adopt a transmission standard shared with TVB and ATV but the communications watchdog warned it could breach the Broadcasting Ordinance if its signals could reach more than 5,000 homes via rooftop antennae without a free TV licence.
The station has invested more than HK$1 billion – including HK$1 million for each TV show episode – in the hope of launching a local service but none of the shows have been aired because of continuous disruption to the launch.
Industry sources said television content was in demand, particularly in mainland China where portals were willing to offer as much as 1 million yuan an episode for a drama show.
To said HKTV was considering uploading one epidsode of The Menu to the internet, an attempt to portray in a drama the current state of journalism and press freedom in Hong Kong. Featured plots include a media chief being attacked and media companies losing their freedom after being taken over by other companies.
She denied HKTV had any plans to acquire ATV or air its shows on the beleaguered station despite a surprise appearance by HKTV boss Ricky Wong Wai-kay on ATV’s talk show News Bar Talk two weeks ago.
ATV has denied it has engaged in any deals with HKTV.
Senior vice-president Ip Ka-po said ATV would undergo a major revamp in May with new programmes and would “welcome independent productions to occupy ATV’s air time”.
He said ATV would produce a 100-episode sitcom and TV movies. Shooting of a drama series would commence in September.
While rival TVB had a big booth occupying the centre of the exhibition hall with its A-list stars to front its programme promotions, ATV did not have a booth at Filmart this year. Ip explained that the station did not have many productions for sale but would return with a bigger presence next year.
Filmart this year has 770 exhibitors from 32 countries. It closes tomorrow.


  1. But what's stopping the shows from being uploaded online where HK viewers can see it, much like how overseas viewers watch HK shows now?

    1. @miriamfanz: Good point...and given today's technology, no doubt that will happen....though just like with alot of TVB's content uploaded online today, they would be treading on 'illegal' territory unless HKTV decides to partner with specific distributors to broadcast their content in HK (sort of similar to what TVB currently does in China with Youku and Tudou). And who knows at this point whether HKTV will do the 'cease and desist' thing as frequently as TVB did in efforts to combat illegal downloading / viewing?

      And of course, if we look at 'traditional' HK audience (i.e. the 'housewife' audiences that TVB has always targeted), it will be more difficult for them to get a hold of HKTV's content, since it won't be broadcast on TV (except for those who are into watching programs online...).

    2. I won't worry even 60+ years old moms has their own iPad to watch TVB shows online "illegally". There are also the TV Pad boxes which I'm not sure whether they're legal or not that alot of overseas households are using.

    3. @sport3888: LOL…very true! Though I also feel that there will continue to be the group of people (albeit a small group compared to the rest of the population) who are more ‘traditional’ and will prefer to watch stuff on TV rather than on a computer or on a mobile device. Take my mom for example – she has an Ipad as well as her own computer and knows how to use both, yet she absolutely refuses to watch programs on anything other than a TV set…to her, watching something online versus watching on TV is completely different. I guess it really depends on preference....

    4. My mom does the complete opposite she loves using her iPad cause she can watch anything she wants whenever she wants. I feel she has more trouble navigating something like the TV Pad or Apple TV that requires a remote. =P

  2. Im in...where to subscribe ??

    1. @fangorn: Haha...I know...I'm so ready to sign up as well! But it sounds like it won't be for awhile, since, according to the article, HKTV is still in discussions with buyers right now. But being at Filmart definitely helped, since they were able to get alot more buyers interested in their products (and the booth that they had at Filmart was pretty cool -- I saw pictures of on weibo...).

  3. considering what a snooze (not to mention nonsensical =/) most (if not all) TVB dramas are these days, I am almost irrationally excited.

    1. @stephanie: Agreed! Definitely very excited and can't wait for the series to be released. Of course, there's still the possibility that HKTV's definition of 'overseas' could mean 'Asian region', but until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that the Western world is included as well...LOL.

  4. Hey isn't it great that China tv stations are willing to pay "MORE" than they pay TVB for HKTV dramas! lol Can't help but smile when I read that! I won't worry about HKers, if they can find Korean dramas with Chinese sub online and connect that to their TV they can do that with HKTV dramas. Of course it's not legal but so many people do it anyway.

    I just hope Ricky Wong can set something up where those in US and Canada pay a 1 time fee and watch their shows online. Forget about HK, youngsters, who are their main target audience will find their way to watch their shows.

    1. @sport3888: Yup...I was definitely very happy to read this article. And I'm actually not surprised that buyers would be willing to pay more for HKTV's series because it's obvious that the quality is there (sure, we don't know about the script's quality yet, but from an aesthetic and production values point of view, HKTV's series are definitely superior to TVB's series from the past few years).

      I also hope that those of us in the U.S. and other areas outside of Asia will be able to watch as well -- I'm one of those who definitely doesn't mind paying a subscription fee, so that's not a problem at all (the way I see it, I already pay for a subscription to the TVB channels here in the U.S. and they're only giving us mediocre content, so I definitely wouldn't have a problem with paying a fee for quality content!).