HKTV to Halt TV Drama Production

With TVB’s strong monopoly hold on Hong Kong’s television industry in the last 20 years, there were high hopes for Ricky Wong’s (王維基) HKTV when it first launched its online services in November 2014. Although HKTV gained widespread support at its initial launch, the online broadcaster has been seeing a consistent drop in ratings.

When HKTV first opened in November 2014, it brought in a daily average of 385,000 live viewers and 205,000 unique viewers. There was also enthusiastic support and interest for HKTV’s opening drama The Election <選戰>, which stars Angelica Lee (李心潔) and Liu Kai Chi (廖啟智). However, on the second week of its service, HKTV lost over 175,000 live viewers, dropping to 183,000 viewers per day. By February 2015, live viewership averaged to 99,000 viewers per day, with only 60,000 unique visitors.

Due to poor promotion, hype for The Election also fell. A second season for the drama was planned to begin filming in February, but HKTV recently decided to indefinitely postpone the project, explaining that it wants to use it sources to make new programs.

Reportedly, HKTV will have no more new drama content after September 2015. In the past two years, HKTV has shot over 13 television dramas, totaling to over 163 hours of footage. As HKTV has decided to halt the production of more TV dramas, HKTV is also beginning to lose production staff.

Prospects do not look good for HKTV’s future, but Ricky Wong said he is not worried. He responded through a spokesperson, “After changing the image of HKTV, we used it as an entertainment platform and an e-shopping center. There are three major income sources, the first is income from overseas buyers, the second is from commercials, and the third is from HKTV Mall, which just launched on February 2. Our goal is to make [HKTV Mall] as an e-shopping supercenter.”

Ricky said HKTV is still waiting on the High Court’s judicial review on HKTV’s request for a free-to-air broadcasting license and a mobile license. HKTV is currently going through many changes, which is why HKTV has to temporarily halt the production of more TV dramas. “Because HKTV has stopped production, it is natural for artistes and production crew to leave after their contracts are up. If HKTV plans to make dramas again in the future, we will go under restructuring.”

In regards to HKTV’s low viewership ratings for its dramas, Ricky said, “The way we present our programs are different from other television stations. Therefore, our viewers are also different. Many people would usually turn on the TV and do other things, but HKTV’s broadcasting platform doesn’t allow you to do that. Most of our viewers are very active in watching our programs. The rise and drop in viewership ratings are normal. We will change things according to the audience’s tastes. That way, HKTV can understand what the viewers want.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. just give up. there’s no point in this.

    “.. our viewers are also different. Many people would usually turn on the TV and do other things, but HKTV’s broadcasting platform doesn’t allow you to do that. Most of our viewers are very active in watching our programs.”

    WTF?? That won’t even happen, cut the BS

    1. what does he mean by “HKTV’s broadcasting platform doesn’t allow you to do that” ?

      1. Probably phrasing, like normally people just leave the TV on and just do other things. But with with internet device, you usually switch it on, check specific things and then turn it off after.

  2. hope they get license soon…these past 4 series they made have been the best tv shows ive seen in hong kong for many years

    1. Weel, maybe u r tvb hater. I am open for more options, but hktv drama series were really terrible. Yes, I can see they try hard to be unique, but that doesn’t mean it will be good.

      1. Doesn’t mean that they were bad either. I enjoyed some of them and like TVB, they have good dramas and not-so-good ones.

      2. Don’t call people tvb haters. It’s low and it’s a cheap way to get people to shut up.
        You criticize HKTV for trying to be unique, but at least they’re trying. I haven’t seen tvb try for a very long time.
        One does not have to be a ‘tvb hater’ to see that tvb dramas have been extremely poor of late whereas hktv dramas are more interesting to watch. Does this mean hktv dramas are good? Maybe, maybe not. But they sure as hell are different; tvb can’t even do something as simple as different.

      3. @dramadrama: how is dee a “tvb hater”? S/he never mentioned TVB. S/he just expressed s/he had enjoyed the series that HKTV been putting out thus far.

  3. I think HKTV will suffer the fate of Commercial Television 佳藝電視

    The CTV at the time also have great star like Michelle Yim ,Jason Pai ,Lau Kong ,Dodo Cheng but it only survive for 3 years.
    Honestly ,HKTV will be close down if they still failed to get the free licence .
    TVB serial are poor recently ,it do not mean HKTV can defeat TVB in short time .

  4. CTV even produce the first Jinyong wuxia like Legend Of Condor Hero ,Return of Condor Hero etc and it still close down,
    HKTV din’t even produce a single ancient drama despite hiring Felix Wong ,Felix Lok ,Sunny Chan etc ,it need to produce some ancient drama to survive .

    1. Ancient series cost a lot of money for the sets and costumes. I think HKTV was trying to make some money fast so stuck to modern series. Maybe if they survive this ordeal, they might venture into making ancient series.

    2. Yes check out the high standard ancient dramas from TVB, lol. The empty palaces, and the many many army, of 20 ppl or something.

    3. I also think they need to produce some good quality ancient/wu Xia dramas in order to improve ratings and survive. Regardless of how good their modern series are,they will need more genres amd types of series in order to last in the long run. That is something that Tvb is lacking in lately as well along with their bad scripts, storylines,weak actors/actresses,etc.. I feel that is an area that China is stronger in. They have modern and ancient series and put in a lot of money and work in order to produce a good piece of work. It is sad Hk nowadays is not willing to do so and even try to economize as much as possible in order to save money but at the same time try to profit as much as possible.

  5. I live in Australia and I tried to support HKTV by downloading its ap. The chopping bit is fine but the episode viewing has little support and it often lags or shut down. I end up watching it on someone else’s phone which somehow works fine. I know sure if it just works better on iPhones and not on androids.

    Like many others, I wish to give HKTV ratings the statistical support but in I know many people have come across the same technical problems as I have and have no choice but to watch through other means.

    I do enjoy the quality of HKTV’s production and I love “The Election” a lot. But still, I do agree that either it gets its free licence to air or needs to improve the accessibility of its online viewing. There are people who want to watch but do not want to watch on the phone. I don’t mind doing it but my parents are used to looking at a large screen TV and just won’t do it, no matter how interested they are.

    I will continue to support HKTV though. I like its refreshing vision. I hope Ricky works out something soon. HKTV is not everyone’s cup of tea, but is a good quality alternative to those who want some brain stimulation when watching series.

    1. You may try to log onto free online streaming. Go to google and type icdrama. Once you find this site, enter the site and you can view latest drama from HK and even Korea. Best of luck in trying to view free online dramas.

  6. High expectation and hype killed the station… the outcome and story plot of the drama is sooo boring I was dozing off. Nothing can help this station much anymore, either give up or really keep fighting for a TV license, perhaps a fusion with ATV it might help, but I guess that won’t happen anytime.

  7. Though I wish HKTV could survive but sad to say they are like a general Fighting a Losing Battle.

  8. The future is VOD. The viewer is choosing to see it. That’s why advertisers love it. On line shopping and entertainment is the future. Amazon TV and Ali Pictures/Taobao. That’s Ricky’s secret weapon.

    Ricky Wong took 7 years of losses to build HK Broadband into a money printing machine. He isn’t going away anytime soon. He has almost $2 billion in cash and no debt in the company.

    If the other players are complacent and don’t move with the times, Ricky will again have the last laugh.

  9. HKTV Mail will have 40,000 items shortly. It will become the biggest on line shopping site in HK.

    All he has to do is find partners in South East Asia and Southern China, then flip the switch to return HK to the position as the shopping Mecca of Asia.

    Of the 350 shops in the mall looks like half have limited retail presence in HK and Asia. The new brands trying to build in Asia are loving it. They can bypass HK’s high retail rents.

    The mainland Chinese will love it because they can purchase authentic products from around the world guaranteed. I would not be surprised if he set up a on line shopping partnership with QQ in Southern China at some point.

    If HK television and entertainment don’t move with the times, it’s all over for HK. TVB is dying without real competition.

    1. but then he have to compete with alibaba from china, the worlds biggest online shopping mall.this guy loves challenges,i hope he will succeed.

      1. Taobao is good, but so different. HKTV is about get authentic quality products, plus brands that are not available just yet to the HK and Chinese market. Just look at Canon and Unilever on HKTV selling direct and you can see the future is on line.

  10. Food for thought – Your English sucks! I cannot respond with a rebuttal if I fail to comprehend your underlying message imposed with endless grammatical and spelling errors.

    1. It’s people like raymond where this website desperately needs some form of moderation to uphold its legitimacy. Please implement Disqus, so that we will see less Keyboard Warriors that only knows to resort to ad hominem attacks.

    2. Spelling error is to dodge the admin spell check for rude words… Grammar, uhm, he just wants to be street. Best way to deal with this is to ignore him. Don’t bother -.-

      1. And obviously he cares more about throwing insult than gramma, so don’t give hi opportunities to continuously trolling you/this website.
        And this meant to response to anon, but somehow it fell to reply correctly -.-???

  11. 1) when people cant win debates judge people english …
    2) Do you have the qualification to judge people
    3) learn to face the truth guys ( i know it hard )
    4)let don’t have fanwars it pointless each person got their view
    let just be friend 😀

    1. @Tofu21

      If point #1 was referring to me, then I will admit that I didn’t understand what he wrote, hence why I asked him to re-write it so I can gain a better understanding of the message he was trying to convey. Can’t start a debate if I don’t understand the discussion.

  12. It’s the fact that a mega fail like ATV, still gets to keep their license is beyond me.

    1. Its politics. ATV suck up to Beijing so can keep their licence however badly they do. HKTV is openly anti-communist and prodemocratic, so cannot get licence whatever they do.

  13. I hope HKTV can survive this ordeal and get their TV license. I have faith in Ricky and I’m very sure HKTV will bounce back once they get their TV License. TVB might be laughing now, but if HKTV gets their license, I believe HKTV will get the last laugh.

  14. Well, so far I’ve only watched the Hakka Sister and actually I enjoyed the show. The story line is good and the performance from both the actresses i.e Maggie Cheung and Prudence Liew are fabulous. In fact its the first time I see the acting from Poon Chan Leung and I must admit he is talented and his acting is masterly. Hakka Sister drama is even better than TVB drama. Keep up the good work !!

    1. i agree, Poon Chan Leung is amazing. i think he pretty much stole the show. also zac gao is really good too.

    1. As reported, Ricky Wong and ATV had discussions recently; however ATV, was not willing to sell controlling shares of the company, but only minority shares where Ricky had no interest of, so talks broke off.

  15. I see so many ex hktv artists in tvb series again. I guess hktv boss wasn’t that good after all.

  16. I don’t believe HKTV has ever been anti communist. Ricky has always been neutral. In fact, if you look at the election, they provide both the good and bad side of politics. Also, in TBONTB, both sides of the border are represented.

    The problem is I think that HKTV is pro-Hong Kong, pro-HK culture, and for some really that scares people. HK culture and Cantonese culture is vital to the future of Southern China, but some would argue that China wants a homogeneous, harmonious demographic in which society can be more easily controlled.

    1. Totally agree with you RJ. I once thought HKTV was anti-communist. But after watching The Election & TBONTB, HKTV did provide coverage fairly on both sides.

      Some people tend to see HKTV & TVB as rivals where only one can came out alive. I still continue watching TVB even with HKTV, so I don’t see a problem if HKTV gets their license. This 2 TV channels will be able to push each other to produce better quality dramas.

      Yes, HKTV might close. And even if it did eventually, HKTV will remain in their viewer’s heart for their effort to push for better quality dramas that has been missing in HK industry this past few years. And more importantly, their bravery for charting into HK culture and issues.

    2. i think it’s not about being neutral but having the guts to well the truth. from watching the first half of first episode in hakka, you’d know it’s a production tvb would never dare to make. so many negative things of the old communist world was presented. they are all true, but i don’t see and haven’t seem a tvb production touch that aspect of communism.

      1. Meaning is not the key. It’s however China government runs the country.

  17. a bad place to work with, he betray the trust of the people, and willing to bet on their rice bowl in order to get some negotiation power against

    if he really that rich, he could just buy up ATV, after all, he is from there, not sure if the ATV license they granted is non transferable or stuff, instead, he fires most of its staff then announce he buys a mobile TV broadcast

    i hope the artist and the crew thinks positive and move on

  18. I really just want to have more options when watching tv…that’s really it. I’m sure many others are supporting HKTV for this reason. We don’t think that HKTV necessarily produces better dramas but competition is so important when maintaining quality. Look at the quality of TVB dramas the past few years and judge for yourself before speaking.

    1. There are many other options like Mainland series,Korean series,Taiwanese series, Japanese series,etc.. Who said there are only hk series?

      1. I really hate it when people act like smart *****. I watch HK dramas because I want to watch cantonese dramas relating to my heritage.

        Yeah I have Netflix and I’d prefer any day to watch american shows over HKs but that’s not the point of my post. No one said there were only HK series. Just you.

      2. Dude,no need to get mad and offensive.Geez! I was just saying there are other options besides just TVb or only Hk series. You are the one that is being the smart mouth! Geez!

      3. Oops, Sorry! Forgive my rudeness. I thought you were one of those spammers/trolls. Sorry I misunderstood the context of your message 😛

  19. hktv should launch his wildcard felix “the king” wong yat wah now before i cant see my idol on tv anymore :):)

  20. Give HKTV a fair platform to air their dramas, only then can you have a fair representation of viewing figures! Most of those watching TVB in HK are house wives. I know, being in HK, that a lot of the younger generation don’t even watch TVB, they rather watch Japanese or Korean dramas.

    At the end of the day its much easier to access TVB. I downloaded the HKTV app too but even i find it chore to use airplay to watch it on TV through my apple tv.I would rather just flick to the channel on my remote.

    Really, HK only has one channel and thats TVB. What has ATV done? Nothing. It keeps replaying the dramas from the 70s and 80s, WTH! HK film industry is dead, music industry is dying, and its TV now.

    1. “WTH! HK film industry is dead, music industry is dying, and its TV now.”

      its true,but what can you do about it? all the money lies in mainland china,even cantonese produced movies speaks the past many moviestars, directors,and talented ppl have their roots in china and came to hk to find work in the entertainment industry. now its the other way around, talented ppl in hk goes back to mainland because they can earn a lot more than in hk.that is the reality and you cant change this fact.

  21. It’s better not mix business with politics. By the rate it is going, even though ATV is on verge collapsing, but they won’t die.

  22. they gotta get their license, they earned it…hktv has shown me that hong kong can make great quality 21st century tv shows too

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