Billionaire Richard Li’s New TV Station Will Be TVB’s Biggest Threat

By on December 5, 2013 in Hot Gossip!, NEWS

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Although HKTV is out of the picture for now, TVB must still face the challenges issued by its two new free-to-air television station rivals. With steady financial backing and experienced leadership, tycoon Richard Li‘s (李澤楷) Hong Kong Television Entertainment Company has positioned itself as TVB’s strongest opponent. The new venture is already marking its territory with a brand new filming studio and its own production company. To breathe freshness into the stalling TV industry, the company has plans to outsource its programming and is looking to partner up with independent studios to create high quality content.

The son of Asia’s richest man, Li Ka Shing (李嘉誠), Richard Li is himself a talented and seasoned businessman who is known for his ambition and sharp financial sense. He nearly single-handedly turned PCCW into the largest telecommunications company in Hong Kong, and ensured its long-term survival by collaborating closely with the local government. He is also passionate and well-versed with the local TV industry. In 1993, Li successfully sold StarTV, a satellite television company he founded, to global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch for $950 million USD. He later revamped PCCW’s television service, turning it into today’s now TV. The premium TV station had earlier successfully recruited popular TVB producers Lau Kar Ho (劉家豪) and Mui Siu Ching (梅小青).

With years of experience in the field, Li has likely identified TVB’s weaknesses and knows how to use them to his advantage. He has already put his plans into gear, earmarking $8 billion HKD to build a brand new TV studio in Tung Chung, an area in close proximity to Hong Kong’s famous airport. The new studio will allegedly be larger than TVB City, and will be furnished with top filming equipment shipped from overseas. Li has also invested in a new post-production center, using action to show his dedication to creating quality material.

For now, Hong Kong Television Entertainment is hoping to fill its debut programming lineup with outsourced content from various Hong Kong and mainland production studios. In a move similar to now TV’s production of The Virtuous Queen of Han < 大漢賢后衛子夫>, the new station will be able to put many well-known artists on its screen regardless. In addition, while TVB is trying to appease the masses by accepting programming ideas from its viewers, Li is instead putting his trust in independent professionals, stimulating both creativity and the job market within the industry.

One of Li’s most likely partners will be entertainment conglomerate EEG. In recent months, EEG has established its own production company, looking to take a bite of the local TV pie. EEG executive Ng Yu (吳雨) described the new business as an all-in-one solution for all forms of entertainment, from simple public functions to major live events. Although Ng insisted that EEG maintains a strong relationship with TVB, he does not deny the possibility of working with its competitors, saying, “We have also started an acting training course. We aren’t concerned with which station as long as there is an opportunity to collaborate.”

Source: 3 Weekly via ihktv.com

This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.

51 comments to Billionaire Richard Li’s New TV Station Will Be TVB’s Biggest Threat

  1. MRS. TORRES says:

    Is that Ricky’s bro? Haha Keep dreaming. TVB will always be on top.

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    • jayne replied:

      Mrs. Torres,
      I wouldn’t be so quick to say. They were a top brand in the past, especially among overseas viewers. But this year, there was heavy criticism against TVB productions. TVB has reason to fear if Richard Li wants to take over TVB’s leading market share.

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      • based replied:

        He’s a billionaire with unlimited resources…he’s gonna go all out if he wants to succeed.

        Not really confident in their efforts though, that Raymond Lam series they produced doesn’t seem very HK-centric.

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      • AL replied:

        I looking forward to watch that drama…
        The Virtuous Queen of Han
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu5l6As7Jn0

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      • AL replied:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmh1D462y8

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      • George replied:

        ”Cheap isn’t always cheerful!
        Quality comes at a price!
        co-Investor should take a tour of memory lane!
        Is it Work or Play, Kiss and tell!”

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    • penny replied:

      I agree that tvb will always be the top

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    • tvbfan replied:

      TVB has always been on the top but over the years there have been more and more complaints about TVB. And a lot of good actors and actress left Tvb already. And more might leave. I have feel like Raymond Lam, Moses, Ron Ng ,Bosco Wong, Myolie and Tavia might leave TVB as well. Making Tvb even weaker.

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      • tvbfan replied:

        And if Ricky and Richard and mainland work together TVB is doomed. But TVB is partnered with Mainland.

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        Most artists do eventually leave so it is not a shock. However, the good thing is if they left on good terms they would more likely come back or sign a per series contract.

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    • Godon replied:

      Mrs Torres sounds like an uninformed, biased, ignorant denier. LOL.

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      • MRS. TORRES replied:

        Godon, u mean Gordon. He’s rich and it doesn’t mean he’s gonna do good in everything. He sure didn’t do so well in his marriage.

        TVB took HKTV down, here come a 2nd smack down in ur face foo..

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      • J replied:

        jeeze way to bring in personal business that has nothing to do with li’s ability to run a business. tvb didnt take down hktv and in any case why are you so staunchly defending tvb? more competition is good for everyone, tvb included.

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      Don’t speak so soon since you do not know what the future can hold. As we can see, TVB is sinking with the rapid decline in the quality of their recent dramas. BUT, the big advantage that TVB has is their over 40+ years of history and many of the current big name artists who all originated from them. These companies are still fresh and new so they still have a reputation to build up.

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  2. Lol says:

    EEG and Richard Li working together? Didn’t they sued each other back in 2008 because of Isabella Leong? I don’t recall if Richard payout the remaining of Isabella’s contract or what happened. From the looks of things, EEG only used TVB if they’re promoting music. EEG artists hardly ever films for TVB because EEG gets better offers in Mainland.

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    • llwy12 replied:

      Yup…plus don’t forget that TVB started partnering up more with Stars Shine the past 2 years or so due to the Sherman Ho / Sandy Yu connection, which most likely ruffled EEG’s feathers somewhat. Besides, EEG’s singers had already been filming series for HKTV prior to this, so it’s not like a collaboration with a TV station outside of TVB is anything new. Not surprised at all with anything in the article…

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  3. Funn Lim says:

    I’m confused, Is this free TV or cable TV?

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    • based replied:

      It’s free TV.

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      • E replied:

        what is the different of free TV and Cable TV??

        Here, it’s just TV show you pay monthly…is it the same or different?

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      • Larry 3 replied:

        Theres a huge difference if you are too poor to buy a subscription service, free tv is the way to go.

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  4. miss unknown says:

    I think this will be a great addition to Hong Kong television because we seriously need some good shows. TVB shows have not been living up to the expectations it once had. It is going down in the recent years in terms of productions…I see the same thing over and over… So I wouldn’t mind seeing other dramas from other Hong Kong productions.

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  5. tvbfanatic says:

    “and will be furnished with top filming equipment shipped from overseas.”

    lol?

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    • Godon replied:

      essentially hollywood type of film equipment lol

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  6. Terminator says:

    Finally, someone can bring HK’s TV industry more in line with the rest of the world (including China’s) by focusing on distribution rather than production of content.

    The “studio system”, which is still used by TVB and had been duplicated by Ricky Wong who thought he could do it better, is hopelessly outdated (Hollywood had abandoned this system since the 60s and all its movies are produced by independent companies).

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Focusing only on distribution and not on production will be good and bad. Good is it may encourage smaller local productions but bad may be outside productions may be more profitable and so they will decide to buy outside content. It is good there is still a major studio keen on producing AND distributing because that encourages local productions and local talents. Perhaps a free style sort of contract for the actors will be the new change.

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      • Terminator replied:

        I don’t quite understand why would it be bad to purchase and distribute content. If anything, much of the criticism against TVB has been that it has a monopoly on the entire process of talent procurement, content production and distribution. By unbundling each step of this process would ensure competition on all levels, leading to a quality final product.

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  7. ying says:

    Healthy competition is good!

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    • AL replied:

      Totally agree…I want more choice…does not matter from Mr. Wong or Mr. Lee…I am not again TVB…nor I am not having any TVB stock…I just want more choice, more quality drama to watch….it is just simple!

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    • Bubblez replied:

      Agree! Actually, I am excited for Now TV because they ave two of my favorite producers! 😀

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  8. P. Tan says:

    Well, I suppose tvb will now be warned of approaching competition from Mr.Li, a formidable opponent and make great eforts to improve and upgrade its whole system.

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  9. AC says:

    Shouldn’t ATV be the one that is most worried? Even with the criticisms, TVB will be very hard to top, while ATV will be easy to overtake with their zero ratings. That wouldn’t look good for them if the two new free stations beat them.

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    • tvbfan replied:

      Yea totally agree didn’t even realize I feel if Richard Li really does a good job and pay there workers well and good resting time and have good equipments and setting he might beat TVB. And then TVB get ratings of ATV.And ATV gets very low ratings and would have to shut down.

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      • AC replied:

        No matter what other stations do, TVB will still be on top for a long time. It has a loyal fanbase and even if some people are criticizing it, there are still a lot of people who like them. Even with more competition, they will not fall to atv ratings.

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    • llwy12 replied:

      Yes, agreed, but unfortunately, try telling that to the delusional ATV execs who are still boasting about how ‘stable’ ATV is and how confident they are that their license will be renewed by the government. Oh and not surprisingly, the ATV execs have continued to deny that their station ever got zero ratings (they claim it’s a conspiracy by TVB to slander them). Honestly, those execs over there belong in a mental institution….

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  10. jc says:

    Is not that easy look at tvb how many donkey years they have struggling untill today. ..almost 50 years still half dead.

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  11. Chriselle says:

    I’m confused how this works.. If HKTV was denied a TV license to air their dramas and shows, why does Richard Li think he will get the license? Won’t he be rejected for the same reasons HKTV was because the government claims that the HK audience doesn’t need another free TV channel?

    And how exactly is a production company different from a TV station? My guess is a that production company is smaller in size, but a TV station still does need a production team to create its TV shows…

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    • sandcherry replied:

      NowTV has already obtained a free TV broadcasting licence, together with a cable TV company. Two licences were granted by the Government of Hong Kong, but HKTV did not get one.

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      • llwy12 replied:

        Slight correction: NowTV and i-Cable were both ‘granted’ licenses by the government ‘in principle’, but they don’t actually have the licenses yet. This is an important point to make because technically, neither station can ‘open its doors’ (on the free TV side that is) until they have their licenses in hand — but unfortunately, they won’t get their licenses until all legal procedures related to the licensing issue are completed. With Ricky Wong getting ready to file judicial review against the government over the license thing (add that to the judicial reviews that ordinary citizens have filed as well), it could be a few years before NowTV and i-Cable actually get their licenses.

        So basically, TVB has nothing to worry about, for now at least….they can continue to ‘enjoy’ their monopoly for the next couple years….

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  12. Camey says:

    An experienced billionaire with a successful career in media and telecoms…if I was TVB I would be scared. Hopefully the competition will drive up standards, tv is the new film after all.

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  13. tvbfan says:

    TVB need treat their staffs better. And try recruit some veteran famous stars like Chow Yun Fat, Tony Lueng chai Wai, Andy Lau Gallen Lo and everyone else to help out.

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    • sara replied:

      Not easy to recruit popular names. TVB should persuade DoDo Cheng who is with them to act in dramas again. DoDo Cheng’s past dramas had all been well received.

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      • Lotus replied:

        DoDo only take on projects with “shorter” hours. Would really love to see her more often !!!

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      • tvbfan replied:

        I really think she should do a comedy drama with Dayo Wong

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      Tony Leung Chiu Wai is NEVER coming back to TVB since I think he left on bad terms. They used to make him work for around 20 hours with no break. There were times that he was so sleepy that he was late for work each day, so the cast and crew had to wait for him. Therefore, he often quarreled with his co stars because of his tardiness. Andy has said that he would come back for years but not sure of it ever happening. Gallen is doing well in China so not sure if he will come back anytime soon. I am sure Chow yun Fat will not come back unless maybe it is for a cameo appearance to boost ratings or something but otherwise for him to come back is really slim. Dodo will not film series again and only hosts or whatever. Carina said that she is willing to help TVB but is not willing to film a series due to the long hours. I think many of them endured that a lot in the 80s so refuse to suffer like that again.

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  14. Polypeptide says:

    All these are low profile instead of Ricky Wong who airs what he is planning to do. No wonder the other 2 broadcasting stations knew what to expect from him , submitted a better proposal and beat him to it.

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  15. Hannahh says:

    WOW TVB u better get your acts together lol

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  16. TVFAN says:

    The latest news is that Ricky Wong had a meeting with ATV major shareholder Wong Ching yesterday, most likely talking about buying out ATV.

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  17. waiting says:

    somebody think they are so smart to erase my comment but the thruth will always be the thruth, no one can escape death, then there is 2nd death, what richard li is promoting is illuminati, illuminati is a satanic worshiping group that controls hollywood, if you’re listening to a song sung by beyonce, then there is actually a message with it, it tells you to worship satan/lucifer, and if you’re watching a movie, you’re being brainwashed eg james bond is a good guy but behind those big government bodies.. are the illuminati

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  18. waiting says:

    them rich people think they are ever so smart to join the illuminati, do you know what is the main agenda of the illuminati? its new world order, they want to reduce world population to 500 million, them they have this chip with barcodes, in between this is the number 666, any person who want to get anything done/ purchase anything must have this chip on their forehead/palm, then they also have a lethal dosage of cynaide in that chip, anyone who oppose the govertment.. the chip will be shut down/cynaide will be realeased into your body, this how they control people in the coming age.. pyramid system, wonder why many countries are so keen on having their own satelites up in space?

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  19. waiting says:

    if a person got 666 (mark of the devil) on his/her body, then its a sure ticket to hell

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      he probably OWNS hell

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