It has been more than a year since ATV lost their free-to-air TV license and officially closed up shop. From the moment they closed, there were already rumors that they would “come back” some day – one rumor was that they were going to submit an application for a license again while another was that they were going to “change format” and return in a different capacity. Up until this point, there was never much merit to the rumors, especially since majority of what was being told to the public was coming from the mouth of ATV’s former chairman Nick Ip Kar Bo (who already proved himself to be a weak puppy through his constant regurgitation of whatever ridiculous assertions that ATV’s higher ups at the time had him relay). Even up until last week, when Nick Ip attended an event for Creation TV (the Christian television channel that he has officially joined as chairman), he was still talking about the possibility of ATV returning. While I still don’t give Nick Ip’s words much merit (since he has a bad reputation in my book), there is actually some truth to the rumors this time in that there is now official confirmation that ATV is returning, albeit Nick Ip isn’t really involved.
I had actually read about ATV possibly making a comeback in a few news articles last week, but at the time, didn’t have the details. Now I have more info so I wanted to get this blog post out there to share it. The latest issue of Mingpao Weekly magazine (published this past weekend) had an article that spells out some of the details, including an interview with the person who will be the new ATV chairman.
My two cents: Personally, I’m not sure how well ATV will fare coming back as a web channel given all the competition in this arena as of late (in addition to TVB, who officially entered the web channel arena last year with myTV Super, there’s also ViuTV, which has their own web streaming platform, and also “outsiders” such as Fox Asia and Netflix, plus the plethora of production companies that have been making web series and putting them on various streaming platforms such as Youtube). To me, if ATV wants to make a successful comeback, the first thing they need to do is change their name….keeping the same name will conjure up memories of the old ATV and with the horribly damaged reputation that station had, it will be harder for HK audiences to accept them without blemish. For right now, I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach, as there hasn’t been a whole lot revealed yet in terms of artists and also programming / content – both of which we all know are critical to success. Since the “launch” is tentatively scheduled for some time in January, I’m pretty sure we will hear more details come out in the next two months.
Below is the article along with a brief summary of the main points from the original article (note that this is NOT a direct translation – it is basically me pulling out the main points from the article and summarizing them here).
Source: Mingpao Weekly magazine, Issue #2556
(published November 4, 2017)
- ATV will be officially returning to TV screens in January 2018. They will be returning as a web channel that can be accessed via Internet platform as well as mobile devices (via a specially designed app). TV audiences can access their channel via a set-top box, but with a paid subscription (which is essentially the exact same OTT – Over the Top – method that TVB’s myTV Super utilizes currently).
- The new chairman of ATV will be Ng Yu (吳雨), who retired from his executive-level position at EEG last year. As most people may already know, Ng Yu also used to be one of the top executives at TVB (back in the 80s and 90s) and has many years of experience in media management, so in a way, he’s the perfect candidate for the job. Though another company will officially be heading up the venture, they recruited Ng Yu for the role of chairman with the promise that he will be the one who calls all the shots.
- Aside from Ng Yu, the executive team for this new ATV venture consists mostly of former TVB and EEG people, including: former TVB Assistant Manager Peter Au (歐偉林), former TVB senior producer Fred Lam (林嘉穎), former EEG artists’ department manager Roger, and also Ng Yu’s long-time secretary Pauline.
- As of right now, there are already over 100 employees working for this new ATV. Majority of the employees are former ATV staff (i.e. all the behind-the-scenes people such as makeup artists, costume, PAs, etc.) but due to his connections, Ng Yu was also able to recruit artists and behind-the-scenes staff from both TVB and EEG as well.
- Ng Yu stated that they are planning to bring ATV back in its entirety in that they are going to produce TV series (and also purchase series from other countries to air on their channel), variety programs, news programs, and also revive the Miss Asia pageant. However he said that the Miss Asia pageant this time around will be very different from the past, as he didn’t want all the issues that used to plague the pageant to follow them.
- Supposedly, Ng Yu is already in talks with a few well-known artists to collaborate with him at this new ATV (most of the names are former ATV artists). Some of the rumored names include: Jaclyn Chu (朱慧珊), Eva Lai (黎燕珊), Margie Tsang (曾華倩), Kenneth Chan (陳啟泰).