Hong Kong Artists Support “Turn Off TV” Movement to Protest Government’s TV License Decision

After the Hong Kong government rejected HKTV’s TV license application, tens of thousands of people have joined street protests denouncing the unfair decision. The public claimed that the government’s decision robbed viewers to have a choice in their broadcasting options and undermined the city’s democratic practices. Netizens’ latest protest movement calls the public to turn off their televisions tonight from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Since TVB is the dominant station in Hong Kong, the “Turn Off TV” movement will impact the company’s programming ratings the most.  Affected programs include TVB’s Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>,  Come Home Love <愛.回家>, Will Power <法外風雲> and Telling Maria <最佳女主角>.

TV’s Hong Kong Loving Hearts Campaign < ATV2013感動香港> and Ip Man 2 <詠春傳奇> will also be affected.

Artists’ Support

HKTV artists Sam Chan (陳宇琛), Benji Chiang (姜文杰) and Leslie Chiang (姜麗文), were grateful for the public’s support of HKTV. Benji said, “The quality of TV programming has worsened; there’s nothing much to watch. My TV watching time has decreased, but I’m very moved by everyone’s decision to turn off their TVs.”

Although their TVB dramas are aired during the proposed hours of protest, Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) and Lai Lok Yi (黎諾懿) felt that the public has the right to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s licensing decision. Ruco said, “It will affect my drama, but I respect everyone’s decision. The movement is not an indication that they do not like our show.”

Although he accepts the public’s right to protest,Will Power’s <法外風雲> Wayne Lai (黎耀祥), believes the movement will have little impact, “TV is still the general public’s [entertainment], and the majority of the viewers are housewives.”

On the other hand, Telling Maria’s host, Luisa Maria Leitão (黎芷珊) hopes that viewers will not turn off their televisions. She pleaded for viewers to not turn off their TVs, “A lot of effort is put into some programs, and it’s a pity if they cannot see the show for some reasons.”

Source: ihktv.com

This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I agree with Wayne. I don’t see this having too much effect on ratings. I assume a majority of the people who attended the protest were young people or people who don’t often watch tv anyway. The general audience will not bother to participate.

    1. I agree with Wayne & @Ric as well. This stupid protest will hardly impact the rating

      1. I agree in a way but I think it’s a good movement. It’s basically telling the HK Government and TVB that all they rely on the people and the audience to watch TV, so by not watching TV they will have to do something about it. Well the young people’s mothers are Ci-Lais as well. They probably will convince their friends and families to boycott watching TV so the impact will be noticeable.

      2. Every effort may be a small count but may mean in a big way.

  2. People has right…I am not in HK…so I can’t do anything…But I support to have HKTV, but I am NOT a big fans of HKTV…I don’t believe that HKTV will forsure do a better drama than TVB forever…but more stations will for sure provide more choice for us…also able to put TVB’s drama quality higher….But I don’t think HK Government will give license to HKTV…

  3. It does seem weird that HK has only 1 or 2 stations only? I mean wasn’t the other one, ATV bankrupt or something so that leaves only TVB now? That does seem controlling if only 1 and so no choice that artists are enduring the cheap pay and such? I mean in China, Japan or Korea I think they do have more than 1 to choose from. In HK, all we hear is TVB?

    1. The population of HK is much smaller than the other countries you listed so it would make sense that there are less free stations. The problem is that ATV basically sucks right now, haven’t been producing series for a while, and is seen as the voice of China which HKers don’t like. I don’t think it’s sustainable for such a small country to have a ton of free channels, but they should gotten rid of ATV to make space for others.

      1. How about HKTV buying over ATV which will be a win win solution.

      2. Ricky Wong is not going to buy ATV. Let ATV died rapidly when it is renew by 2015.

  4. Turning off the TV for a specific period of time will definitely help HKTV and the protestors especially during primetime because advertisers will exert influence on the government, TV stations and others to be heard because they are losing revenue from lost sales due to lost viewership. If the advertisers start complaining loudly enough and join forces with HKTV and the netizens, the trio will definitely have an impact in getting the government to relook and possibly reverse their decision. Free competition is good for all versus a monopoly!

    1. Actually, that’s not really true. The advertisers in HK already pledged their support for HKTV prior to this (the biggest advertising advocacy groups in HK actually issued official statements backing HKTV both before and after the license decision)….but that obviously didn’t help, since the govt still denied the license. Some of the advertisers who currently advertise on TVB even gave interviews specifically stating that they would support HKTV and advertise on their station as well if they were granted a license….but that didn’t do any good either. Also, keep in mind that the advertising revenue that might be lost with this ‘campaign’ is very minimal in the scheme of things, so it’s not going to have much impact at all.

      Yes, I support HKTV and the overall goals of the previous week’s protests, but from the getgo, I had already stated that this whole ‘turn off the TV’ thing wasn’t going to work because honestly, the HK government doesn’t give a crap…so what if the local TV stations lose some ratings? It has no impact on them whatsoever….besides, it’s not like the current government has supported the HK entertainment industry much the past 10-15 years, so why would they start caring now?

    2. I beg to differ as if the netizens, viewers and their supporters start boycotting the buying of goods of those companies that advertise with TVB for a prolonged period, that will energize the government to review the process because these companies will be more vocal and demonstrative versus the previous lip service since their bottom line has been drastically affected.

      1. @aptos: True, but the key word here is “prolonged period”….the ‘turn off the TV” movement/protest thing is only for 1 specific time period (7pm to 11pm) on 1 particular day. Unless everyone in HK agrees to continue turning off their TVs every single day for the rest of the year or something (which will never happen)…otherwise, turning it off for 4 hours isn’t going to have much impact.

      2. Turning off the TV during TVB primetime hours actually from 8 pm – 1030 pm during the showing of their drama series will have an impact for a “prolong” period whether one week or one month. Advertisers will not pay good money to advertise if there are minimal viewers. I know many watch TV to see the news.

  5. its unbelievable that atv can still keep their license in spite of 0,0ratings while hktv who showed so much spirit and great effort to make programes was rejected by the government.they dont even give them a clear reason for rejection, why?.c.y.leung shame on you.

    1. @kolo: Haha…so true! Though according to ATV’s management, their ratings never went down to zero (they claimed that the zero ratings thing was a ‘scheme’ by TVB to make them look bad — of course, TVB took them to court for slander…and won). Obviously, the main reason why ATV is still in existence is because of Mainland investor Wong Ching — as long as he continues to pump money into the station, ATV will continue to be around. It will be interesting to see though whether the govt takes back ATV’s license in 2015 when it’s scheduled to expire….if they don’t, then we all can pretty much confirm our ‘suspicions’ about ATV’s connection to the Mainland govt…

    2. ATV give back their licence or better still, they should hire all the HKTV people and pump more resources into producing good quality dramas.

  6. they should get someone like eliot ness and the untoucahbles to look into this corrupt matter.tbh this pisses me off that the hong kong government rejected hktv license.

  7. what dominant, next year there will be nowtv & fantastic tv

  8. i have to say, quality dramas from TVB has gone down hill … now i am watching more Korean dramas along with other programming and have not been watching much of tvb. The last one i saw was TITS 2 … which is a joke. I mean if you have a character who lives grew up in Paris, her Facebook posting should be in French, and not English, that alone tells me how little writers care and they just don’t think viewers will notice little inconsistency. I mean i noticed, and that’s just one small piece

    1. I am still a TVB girl.I grow up in MAlaysia but my Facebook postings’ in English. K-drama is no better actually. Very few are actually watchable and very few of those watchable are considered good. The acting is mostly OTT.

      1. Actually, the only TVB series I am watching this year is Brother’s Keeper but even that series is only passable. I was never a Kdrama fan either but b/c of the extremely bad TVB dramas these days I started to watch a few Kdramas and surpringsly they are not that bad. I am not into the weepy ones. I have recently watched HEARTLESS CITY AND 2 WEEKS, man the action and fast paced of these series is exactly my kind of series. Most of their series are slow paced and lovey dovey overrated but these 2 are completely different n i thoroughly enjoyed it.
        Jdrama – Couldn’t understand their series at all.
        Cdrama – Too long and boring
        Tdrama – Too idolish and stupid
        HKdrama – Going downhill as well.

    2. I have been incredibly loyal to TVB because that’s what my family and I have watched since when I was a child. But I must say that patience is getting thin and I have been watching more mainland productions, especially period dramas.

      As for Korean dramas, I really cannot take it. It’s too melodramatic and draggy. Acting is really mediocre.

      1. Well said Puff! I have the same sentiments as you since I watched TVB as a child with my family as well. TVB series of the 80s are forever the best to me because they were not only good entertainment, but are memories of my childhood with my family. But sadly those are the good old days and TVB is now so different and has gone downhill in everything.

        I have been watching many mainland ancient series since I have always loved ancient series. But of course a number of them are not so great,however, some are good too. Every company and country has both good and bad series.

        I have seen many Korean dramas and a few are ok, but most of them are not so great. I feel that Korean dramas are way overrated. The modern ones are ok but a lot of the ancient ones are so boring and draggy.

    3. My friend grew up in Paris and she posted FB in English. There are many English speakers in Paris, like you can hear Chinese/Cantonese everywhere in London. Don’t feel strange if you see a person grew up in London can’t speak English.

  9. I do admire the “no tv” movement, but I do believe that it will do little. I mean, with Internet being so common thesedays, you can watch it from tvb’s main site, instead of “turning the tv on” (if you live in HK).

  10. Wayne said it best. He is honest without sounding like a douchebag!

    Ruco be careful! You don’t wanna be black listed.

    I do believe HK has protests over everything. No biggie for TVB. It is not sinking. THis is just a pimple stage.

    1. The media is all out to misquote any TVB staff to get blacklisted

      1. Agree! Honestly, ratings drop for what? One day? Several hours? The ratings for that day won’t reflect anything about the drama or actors/actresses.

  11. They need to put this guy face on this column.

    Ruco has little to worry since nobody is watching the drama that he’s in anyway.

    1. Don’t agree. Many people on this website love Ruco Chan, and he acts well in “Brother’s Keeper”.

      1. Racoon, for your info, Brother’s Keeper is doing better than 2-TV-King drama Will Power, both in TV ratings and on mytv despite being in the less popular timeslot of 8.30pm. On Douban, it has more positive reviews than even TITS2. While avg ratings hover around 26 and 27 points, this is better than a lot of other TVB dramas of late. People have changed their viewing patterns, cannot expect previous type of ratings.

      2. agree with sancherry,i like brother’s keeper and ruco’s acting is also decent.

      3. yeah many people on this website love Ruco include the owner of this site 🙂

    2. @racoon, better change your name to frog, as in, frog-in-the-well. Ruco has many supporters here who appreciate his good acting. BK has garnered a lot of likes on many drama websites as well.

      1. When you put a guy into 10 plus series a year, eventually he will hit big with one or two of them. Normal for TVB when they want to promote someone, the favorite will be in every series. U probly favor him because the looks but most dont really care, they want star power. This guy has none.

      2. @racoon, that’s just your opinion cos you’ve BAD taste!!!!

  12. Stupid move.
    I think one night is not enough, if you really want to support till the end I think you guys should throw away your TV until HKTV gets their license. Lol

  13. Don’t think Ruco said anything that’ll cause him to be blacklisted. It was pretty neutral; he did not bash TVB.

  14. I remember someone says that HKTV will make the Hong Kong TV Industry a new chapter (or something like that), no license for HTTV will limit the development, the freedom, blah blah blah. But, pls consider if the action of “Tun off TV” is negating what you are trying to achieve – “freedom of audience” “fair competition”???

    1. They achieve nothing, it is a silly protest. They are desperate for jobs now.

      1. well might as well be productive about something since there is no job anyway. nothing wrong with that.

  15. I like your show, Ruco Chan, although it’s getting really depressing. I’m Malaysian, but I support the HK people to turn off the televisions at this time. It’s your right, do whatever you think is okay. 🙂

  16. As far as I’m concerned, there hasn’t been a TVB series so far that has kept me on my toes wanting more…

  17. It doesnt matter. There’s always “mytvb” for hk viewers to catch up LOL

  18. People need to watch less TV & play even less with their handheld devices.

    Too many dumbed-down viewers.

  19. Actually I support this movement not because of the licensing controversy but because there are way too many “couch potatoes” in HK.

    Let’s keep the idiot boxes shut and find something to do with your lives.

  20. Jayne!

    I humbly request you change the above picture of Ruco to something better. That one is just… like he just woke up after being drunk and slept for 10 days under the bridge and stumbled into TVB and surprised by interviewers asking him the important question;

    “Do you know what day is today?”

    1. lol,thats probably a face when you are working for tvb hours after hours without resting.

      1. true! true! For the sake of Ruco’s handsomeness, TVB MUST implement the max working hours, like NOW!

    2. Funn,
      I don’t think Ruco looks that bad in the photo. 🙂 He has a rugged beauty, a very masculine look that apparently has grown on you lately as well.

      1. Just ignore her. That picture is from the sales presentation filming for BK, it’s not a recent one. I’d love to see what her “lucky” man looks like.

      2. If you can post that picture of him in that security manager suit and also that I think jacket that was in episode 28 where he was kicked by By crazy half bro that would make my day. I never thought him rugged. I just like his academic look except I just found out he is not academic? Just don’t smile and he looks fine. And can you tell past troll to. Ack off? No one is asking him or her.

  21. There’s nothing good to watch anyway on TVB right now. Might as well switch off TV and support HKTV.


    Have a look at the first episode of police drama. 10x better than what TVB has produced for the last decade.

  22. I have already turned off the television even before all of this HKTV matter.

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