Well, one thing I'm happy about is that ever since HKTV's launch back in November, they've gotten more support because people finally realize that Ricky Wong was serious when he said he wants to make a quality product. No, I don't have any numbers available (and I don't intend on producing any numbers either so don't bother asking) -- I'm basing my very general comment on what I've seen during my daily internet and social media browsing. In the past, whenever I would go to entertainment forums or social media sites and post something about HKTV, more than half of the replies/comments I get back would be negative, bashing not just HKTV, but me as well for even mentioning their name (as though HKTV is a curse word or something). Ever since HKTV launched and they started airing their series, the tables have turned -- now I either see positive comments in support of HKTV or neutral comments that neither support nor criticize (which I'm totally fine with).
I remember a few years ago, around the time of the license debacle, one of the biggest 'arguments' that people gave in terms of whether HKTV should get a license was that Ricky Wong and HKTV need to 'prove' that they are not just 'talk' and actually have a quality product to back them up. Well, obviously they stepped up to the challenge and did just that -- they let their 'product' (their TV series) convince audiences that they are indeed worth supporting!
Kudos to HKTV! Even though their future looks grim, I still encourage them to keep up the great work they've done, as there are still quite a few of us out there who appreciate their efforts! Keep it up, HKTV!
SCMP Editorial: Turn off ATV and turn on HKTV
This opinion piece was written by Alex Lo at SCMP.
Asia Television does not deserve to live. It's been airing re-runs; its news service staff are badly demoralised and many have left; it has had troubles paying employees and licence fees; and an unnamed white knight has baulked at the absurd HK$700 million price tag major shareholder Wong Ching is demanding.
Any regulators in their right mind would have let it die a richly deserved death long ago. Yet, the Executive Council is still struggling to come up with the semblance of an excuse to renew its licence. Frankly, it's just too bizarre.
If it's because of ATV's pro-Beijing stance, I suggest officials change existing broadcasting ownership laws so China's CCTV can take over. The state-owned station may be a mouthpiece for Beijing, but at least it has the resources to produce some decent news documentaries and historical soap operas.
In two rounds of licensing decisions, local regulators made complete fools of themselves. First, they allowed a financially and intellectually bankrupt TV station to continue. Then they granted new licences to two subsidiaries of i-Cable Communications and PCCW without ascertaining when they would start to provide free-to-air services. So far, both have little or nothing to show for it.
Meanwhile, the one station, Hong Kong Television Network, that actually committed investment, hired hundreds of people - subsequently forced into redundancies - and produced actual new programmes was rejected. HKTV had even promised not to provide any news service that might be politically sensitive.
The sorry excuse officials gave for rejecting HKTV was that it could not demonstrate financial stability and that it did not have the experience of i-Cable and PCCW. Well, financially, see where ATV is now. And in terms of programmes, when will the newly licensed stations start regular broadcasts? As soon as possible, they say.
Well, HKTV has been broadcasting on the internet and smartphones. It has just announced a HK$240 million loss, mostly because it could not charge mainstream advertising rates as a normal TV station. No doubt some officials would cite that as evidence of a lack of financial stability. But they let ATV live!
Kill ATV now and give the licence to HKTV.