Ok, some may say that I'm thinking too much into things, but taking a step back, am I wrong to be concerned? I mean, I don't know about you guys, but if we use a business comparison, this definitely sounds like a "corporate takeover" to me! I'm assuming the HK government had to give the green light for this to happen -- my question is: why? Shouldn't the HK government be trying to preserve HK's television industry rather than open it up to other countries to come in? Yes, I agree that there is a severe lack of competition in the HK television market due to TVB's monopoly and that it's necessary to open the market in order to promote healthy competition -- but then shouldn't that be more reason to grant HKTV a license so they CAN openly compete with TVB (along with Now TV and i-Cable, who were already granted free-to-air TV licenses 2 years ago)? What sense does it make to do everything possible to deny local competition, then turn around and open the doors to outside competition? Someone please explain that one to me because I am completely baffled at the HK government's reasoning!!
Reading the last 4 paragraphs of the article is especially depressing...and in a way, it makes me especially angry. Come on now -- anyone who has been paying attention the past decade (and more) knows how badly TVB's monopoly has hurt the HK television industry! Heck, even TVB themselves know it, which is probably why they've put so much focus on expanding to Mainland China the past few years. I honestly don't feel it's a coincidence that TVB announced earlier in the year that the direction of the company in the coming years is to focus more on the Mainland China market -- my guess is that they saw the writing on the wall already and figured if anything happens with the HK market, they always have the Mainland market to fall back on. Ok, fine...if that's the case and they're giving up on the HK market, then why not let HKTV and the others in to take over? Instead, they are essentially destroying the industry (with the help of the corrupt government), then running away when everything is in ruins so they can save their you-know-what (those selfish bastards!). After reading that last segment of the article about TVB, four Chinese words come to mind: 玉石俱焚 (which literally means "burning both the jade and the stone" -- layperson's translation is 'eating most of the pie and destroying the rest of it so others can have any').
And isn't it ironic that there has been so much talk the past year from TVB and the government about the need for new technology and how audiences nowadays don't watch series on TV sets anymore so it's necessary to expand to internet and other mobile platforms? Well, isn't that exactly what HKTV is doing with their recent launch on the internet and mobile platform? But I guess it's "wrong" if HKTV does it but "right" if TVB were to do it....
Anyway....did anyone else get the same sentiment after reading this article? Or am getting all riled up unnecessarily again?
Fox to boost Hong Kong television industry with US$1m-per-episode miniseries
American giant 21st Century Fox will give Hong Kong's television industry a major shot in the arm with a massive investment in making programmes in the city for the Asian and international market.
The company's Fox International Channels will spend US$1 million per episode on one or two miniseries per year in the city, using Hong Kong production talent and local stars. The first two will go into production this year.
It is one of the biggest investments ever by a Western firm in television production in Asia. One local expert said it would help the city's television industry - once a regional powerhouse - regain ground on its rivals.
Cora Yim, senior vice-president of Fox International Channels, told the South China Morning Post that a year and a half of development had gone into the first two shows. The first title, Guilty as Sin, is said to be set in Hong Kong and tell a local story. The second is said to have an "Asian scale" and will be shot primarily in English for an audience both within and beyond the region, Yim said.
"We plan to produce premium miniseries; high-concept television made by film talents from here," said Yim, who serves as the channels' head of Chinese entertainment and territory head for Hong Kong. "Many film directors in Hollywood are producing television but this has yet become a trend in Asia. We want to bring US standards to Asia."
The main platform for the new series - which will be six to eight episodes long - will be Star Chinese Movies, a Fox subscription channel available in much of Asia. The channel previously launched an initiative called Go Local! to produce films for local audiences in Asia. In Hong Kong, that led to a partnership with Emperor Motion Pictures to produce edgy films with an eye on a local, rather than mainland, audience.
Among the fruits of that deal is Sara, a sexually charged drama, which has netted HK$12.4 million at the box office since its release earlier this month.
Fox is negotiating with potential partners in the region and Yim says she hopes to complete some deals during FILMART, the annual film and television trade gathering that opens at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai today.
The international television industry has changed, Yim says. Content production was no longer tied to a single channel's platform as shown by the likes of Netflix, the on-demand streaming service that has yet to launch in Asia but has 57 million subscribers worldwide. Netflix grew by offering other broadcasters' shows on demand, but has since branched out into original content.
Yim said that model contrasted starkly with Hong Kong, where free-to-air player TVB dominates. Ricky Wong Wai-kay's HKTV attempted to break the stranglehold by spending HK$1 million per episode on drama. But Wong failed to win a free-to-air licence and has launched online, a first for the city.
Peter Lam Yuk-wah, vice-president of the Hong Kong Televisioners Association, said Hong Kong had been the leader in television production around the region, but TVB's monopoly had hurt its competitiveness. South Korea and mainland China, in particular, had taken advantage.
He welcomed the investment in the ailing industry and said technology would revolutionise the platform, giving birth to a new business model outside the terrestrial television network.