ATV Makes Comeback Online; Snags Former TVB Executives

Above: Stephen Chan and Margie Tsang will be hosting ATV’s new variety programs.

Last year, Hong Kong broadcasting station ATV shut down its operations after struggling with bankruptcy. Yesterday, ATV announced that it will resume limited operations as an online broadcaster. With his experience at TVB and EEG, Ng Yu (吳雨) is ATV’s new CEO. He is also joined by former TVB colleagues, Ho Lai Cheun (何麗全), Au Wai Lam (區偉林) and Stephen Chan (陳志雲) in ATV’s turnaround.

In April, Mainland-China based Star Platinum Enterprises became ATV’s majority shareholder and resolved its major debts totaling about $2.2 billion HKD. With its help, ATV was not forced into liquidation and still maintains control over its 50,000 square-meter production facility. After ATV’s latest debt restructuring program was approved by its creditors and the High Court, the company announced its intentions to return to broadcasting as an Internet-based service.

Former TVB General Manager, Stephen Chan (陳志雲), will be hosting ATV’s new production of Who Wants to be a Millionaire <百萬富翁>. Broadcast in 2001, the show was ATV’s most successful variety program and reached 39 viewership ratings points. Stephen said, “I’m actually very happy that I’m able to switch from working behind-the-scenes to working in front of the cameras. It’s the nature of the job – I can try out new things that I’ve not done in the past. It’s very interesting and refreshing.”

Queenie Chu (朱慧敏) and Margie Tsang (曾華倩) are also former TVB artistes who will be appearing in ATV’s new variety programs, which will feature political, economic, fashion, diet, and entertainment interests.

ATV also announced that it will film a new version of its classic drama, My Date with a Vampire <我和殭屍有個約會> and a television adaptation of classic film A Better Tomorrow <英雄本色>.

Launching New App  

Hoping to keep up with digital trend, ATV launched its mobile app on December 18. By the end of January, users will be able to watch shows on ATV’s new over-the-top (OTT) service online. The success of ATV’s strategy will depend on the quality of its programming and ability to attract viewers online. ATV will have to face its competitors myTV Super, which features TVB content, as well as ViuTV, which has been featuring many Korean dramas.

Source: Oriental Daily;

This article is written by Su for

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  1. I’m excited ATV will start filming their own series again. Before ATV shut down, they were merely broadcasting other dramas produced in Korea or Mainland China. Not sure how I feel about them following TVB’s method of remaking and recycling old classics, like “My Date with a Vampire”. Fresh faces assuming classic roles like “Ma Siu Ling” and “Fong Tin Yau”?? Might be a bit hard to stomach…

    1. @huynh They are still going to broadcast other dramas. In fact, they already bought broadcasting rights to Fan Bing Bing’s new Mainland China drama and will air it the same time that Mainland does. As for their own dramas, Ng Yu
      already said that they will be co-productions with Mainland so don’t expect it to be heavy HK flavor.

      For MDWAV, it’s confirmed that Eric Wan won’t be returning, as he said ATV already approached him and they might collaborate on other projects but he refuses to film another vampire series because it conflicts with his faith (he did an interview a few months back explaining some of the things that happened to him over the years that prompted him to embrace Christianity). Joey Man already is a no go since she’s with TVB. A few others are in the same boat in terms of working for other stations. I was never a fan of MDWAV but I can definitely understand fans’ concerns about ATV remaking the series with different people and maybe even different story.

      The above article actually doesn’t have much detail. I did a recap of the ATV thing a few days ago in my blog (the press conference was actually this past weekend so above article is kind of old). If you’re interested in more details, check this out:

  2. competition is always good. tvb needs a contender to invigorate them to make better quality products although atv is not a strong one, least it’s better than no competition. i am hoping for an hktv come back, they had a number of shows i enjoyed watching and even with a short list of production, they managed to make different genres that suit different tastes.

    I agree, that man yi man’s shoes are hard to fill. she’s got such a cutsie face, perfect body and charisma in her. also, it’d be hard to see oithers playing pinky’s roles too, she’s also another muse of the show in my opinion. I hope that they dont’ find some chick from china to fill these memorable roles b/c it is an hk produciton afterall.

  3. Things are starting out on the wrong foot already. Turns out that ATV won’t be able to remake MDWAV because the rights to that series (along with a bunch of other popular ATV classics) was sold to Fox Networks. ATV would be infringing on copyright if they were to remake the series without Fox’s consent. ATV’s CEO Ng Yu was asked about this today and he said that it is true that most of ATV’s series were indeed already sold to other companies (including TVB, Fox, HMV, Sohu, etc.) and that it was a misunderstanding on their part, as the records are really messy and they are still going through them. He said that they are in discussions with Fox right now on possible collaboration with the remake but if that doesn’t pan out, they have other series they can look at remaking instead.

    What a mess! I mean, how could ATV not know that the rights to the series was already sold to Fox? And then to announce plans for a remake as though ATV still owned the rights? This definitely doesn’t look good for ATV, especially with their already previously tarnished reputation….

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