Long time no see, dear readers! Actually, for me, it should probably be "long time no post" instead. I just realized that it's been more than a month since I've posted stuff on my blog...shame on me for neglecting my blog for so long! Definitely need to get back to finalizing a few of the translations I've been working on (which I had conveniently set aside when my life starting getting busy again)...hopefully it won't take another month for me to get those posts out...
In any case, back to the topic at hand....
I know it's been awhile since most of us last heard anything about HKTV. Despite not updating much on my blog, I've actually continued to stay on top of news related to HKTV and its artists. Though there hasn't been tremendous development overall in the past 2 months or so, there ARE a few recent happenings that are well-worth mentioning, especially for those fellow readers who continue to have an active interest in the fate of HKTV.
First update -- below is an article that came out back on May 27th (sorry for the 'lateness'....I read this article when it originally came out, but didn't get around to posting it until now). As reported earlier, Ricky Wong has now confirmed plans to include a 24-hour shopping channel as part of his station's lineup when HKTV launches their online and mobile services later in the year. This is actually a move of desperation for Ricky Wong, since he has been pushed against the wall with the government's rejection of his application for a free TV license as well as their continued 'attempts' to shoot down his plans to broadcast his programs to the HK public. One important point to note from the article is the fact that Ricky Wong actually has "no interest in e-commerce" and is only launching a shopping channel as a means to pay his bills. While it's certainly a pity that Ricky Wong has to take such 'drastic' action due to his current circumstances, I do applaud his 'fighting spirit' and 'undying perseverance'. I wish him the best and hope that this shopping channel thing works out for him (though based on the article, doesn't look like the channel will make much money...but something is better than nothing, I guess).
Second update -- the Communications Authority (CA) has finally 'responded' to HKTV's new proposal / bid for a free to air TV license (reference the following article that I posted back on April 11th: HKTV makes fresh bid for license). On June 6th, the CA issued the official notice requesting for the HK public to submit their comments on HKTV's new application (here's the link to the notice on the CA's website: CA Notice). This 'public consultation' session is actually standard procedure whenever an application for domestic license is submitted (same procedure took place a few years back when HKTV, i-Cable, and NowTV submitted their initial applications for licenses). For this new proposal, the CA is requesting that the public submit all comments by July 17th, 2014. Though I'm honestly not sure how much it will help given that the HK government is hardset on denying HKTV a license (I'm still of the belief that the corrupt HK government will never grant HKTV a license period), I sincerely do hope that the public's comments will at least have some impact -- at minimum, it will show the government that there is still alot of support out there for HKTV (as well as the underlying issue of allowing citizens the right to have more options in terms of TV stations to watch).
Lastly, those who have been following the licensing issue should definitely stay tuned, as there are a few important 'decisions' coming up within the next few months that could severely impact the HK television industry and perhaps even 'change the playing field' going into next year. The 2 biggest 'decisions' to watch out for are: 1) the outcome of the judicial review that HKTV filed against the government for refusing to grant them a license, and 2) the government's decision on whether to renew TVB and ATV's licenses, which are currently set to expire in 2015. According to the latest news reports, both decisions are expected before the end of this year (2014).
News Article: HKTV shopping channel a desperate measure, boss Ricky Wong admits
Article originally published May 27th, 2014
Hong Kong Television Network's decision to launch an online shopping platform is an act of desperation, the controversial broadcaster's chairman admitted yesterday.
Ricky Wong Wai-kay announced last month that a 24-hour shopping channel and virtual mall would be part of HKTV's online and mobile television services. The company turned to online and mobile platforms after its application for a free-to-air licence was rejected by the government last year despite massive public support.
But explaining his plans to a sold-out crowd of business leaders at a General Chamber of Commerce lunch yesterday, the colourful entrepreneur admitted he had no interest in e-commerce as such and saw it merely as a way to pay the bills. Wong spent more than HK$300 million on programming in anticipation of getting a licence.
"I'm doing this only because I have been left with no other option," Wong said. "Producing television is still my main objective. I'm doing this stuff just to earn money … online television cannot rely on advertising."
The station could expect to make just HK$150 in advertising for every 1,000 views for its online video content, meaning it would be tough to make money from a standalone television network.
Wong said he had 100 retail brands on board for the e-commerce platform, which he hoped would be up and running by the end of the year. Rather than being a "Wai-kay department store" stocking many products, the new platform would be a "bridge" between retailers and customers.
Brands will not be charged a fee to promote their brands on HKTV but would have to pay commission.
Wong said last month that the shopping channel would be one of up to five HKTV offered.
A judicial review of the government's decision to refuse HKTV's free-to-air licence bid is to be heard in the High Court on August 27, with a decision expected before the end of the year.
HKTV has also been granted leave to seek a review of the government's handling of its plans for mobile television amid a dispute over the technical standard chosen for its broadcasts.
"We hope both judicial reviews can obtain a good response so we can provide entertainment programmes to citizens as soon as possible," Wong said.