HK’s New Free Channel “ViuTV” Launches April 2016

By on October 20, 2015 in NEWS

HK’s New Free Channel “ViuTV” Launches April 2016

PCCW, an informations and communications technology owned by Richard Li (李澤楷), has confirmed that it will launch its free-to-air television channel ViuTV in April next year. The company, which also owns the cable network Now TV, announced the news on October 20.

Previously known as HK Television Entertainment (HKTVE), ViuTV was granted a 12-year free-to-air television license on April 1, 2015 alongside i-Cable’s Fantastic TV. On Tuesday October 20, the HKTVE network announced that it has been renamed to ViuTV—an initialism for the words “view”, “I”, and “you.” ViuTV’s Cantonese channel will do a test run in March 2016, and it will officially start broadcast in April 2016 on the DTV channel number 99. The network will open its English channel before March 31, 2017. With $600 million invested on the network, ViuTV will be made available across various online and mobile broadcasting mediums.

To bring more competition into the free Hong Kong television market, ViuTV will first focus on broadcasting overseas Asian entertainment. It plans to air some of South Korea’s most popular Hallyu dramas and variety shows, and will make it available with Chinese subtitles almost as soon as eight hours after its original broadcast in Korea. ViuTV will also be airing Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese drama series, including Japanese anime and variety show programs. An app for these programs will be available on October 26.

ViuTV’s general manager Lo Ting Fai (魯庭暉) expressed that ViuTV’s goal is to provide an open platform for viewers to enjoy. The network is currently working on twenty different projects under a $300 million HKD budget. In addition to overseas programs, ViuTV will also focus on developing local productions, including programs on the news, sports, finance, and children shows.

Hong Kong musician and entrepreneur Roy Tsui (林日曦) has signed on to appear on ViuTV’s first “realistic” variety show program Travel With Contradiction <跟著矛盾去旅行>, a show featuring various Hong Kong artistes going on various trips around the world. Ann Chiang (蔣麗芸), Renee Dai (戴夢夢), Siu Yam Yam (邵音音), Shiga Lin (連詩雅), Gloria Yip (葉蘊儀), and more, will star on the show.

Returning Hong Kong television actor David Siu (邵仲衡) revealed that he has signed a per-series contract with ViuTV and will be starring in the channel’s first drama serial Margaret and David <瑪嘉烈與大衛>. He refused to be referred to as ViuTV’s “number one brother,” explaining that he’s only around to help out the new network.

Source: IHKTV

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

14 comments to HK’s New Free Channel “ViuTV” Launches April 2016

  1. jjwong says:

    Putting politics aside, someone tell me the reason the gov’t gave to deny HKTV but then turned around and approved ViuTV? I don’t understand how HK gov’t can so bluntly shows favoritism l. This is another ATV in the making, where TVB is still sitting comfortably as Big Bro. Sighs. I feel bad for the workers involved in the entertainment circle there. They can’t catch a break!

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    • kaykay408 replied:

      @jjwong yeah what’s up with that right?

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    • llwy12 replied:

      @jjwong A clear reason / explanation for denying HKTV’s license was actually never provided – the government basically gave a BS generic excuse saying that HK cannot support 5 free-to-air TV stations and they need to take a “gradual approach” to issuing licenses, so they decided to issue only 2 new free-to-air licenses instead of 3 (obviously that doesn’t explain why NowTV and i-Cable were chosen over HKTV)…. which is why celebrities and ordinary citizens took to the streets after the decision was made and protested the government’s “black box operations”. Also, the third party consultation group that the government hired to do an analysis of the 5 stations (the 3 new applications + TVB and ATV) actually ranked HKTV above the other stations in most of the major categories (the analysis report was leaked online not long after the decision and the person who wrote the report actually came out and criticized the government’s decision, implying that the government lied when they claimed that they based their decision on the analysis report – of course, that person eventually got fired).

      Anyway, not going to rehash all the details, since there were other factors involved as well and the issue has been debated to death already the past 2 years or so. Unfortunately, the bottom line is this: they’re the government – they can do whatever the hell they want and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

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      • kolo replied:

        @llwy12 its time for a umbrella revolution again,the government asked for it,so sad also how they protect the 7 black cops.

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      • jjwong replied:

        @llwy12 Thanks. Had a feeling you would know lol. I’m hitting you up if I ever visit HK! Back on topic, that’s BS on the gov’t part. Shame shame shame.

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      • m0m0 replied:

        @llwy12

        That’s true, it’s the government. They can do whatever they please. true everywhere.

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  2. m0m0 says:

    really not excited about this new launch. focusing on asian entertainment rather than cantonese. i do not enjoy watching dramas esp korean/japanese. dispointed, nothing to look forward to. i want hktv

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  3. anon says:

    Meh, it’s gonna be a CRTC-sponsored channel.

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  4. kidd says:

    Now, I really wonder if TVB boss has had tea with CY Leung. The only one of the free-to-air TV applicants that focus on HK and directly rival TVB was the one that was denied license.

    I wonder how many local HK series ViuTV will produce in a year.

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    • llwy12 replied:

      @kidd That was actually one of the first thoughts (that the government is in cahoots with TVB) and still is to this day. Of course there’s no proof, but it’s hard to blame people for thinking that way when TVB does stupid things that implicate themselves, such as using their own infotainment show The Scoop to justify the government’s decision, even going the length of taking each line of the government’s officially issued response (the sections that pertained specifically to HKTV) and pointing out how “correct” the government was (I felt sorry for the hosts of that show who ended up getting backlash from audiences).  If TVB is as “innocent” as they say they are, then why is it necessary for them to come out and “justify” the government’s actions? 

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      • m0m0 replied:

        @llwy12
        i thought that one of the hosts did a silent protest during the program like wearing black to support hktv

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      • llwy12 replied:

        @m0m0 Perhaps…but unfortunately the hosts’ personal views don’t matter – TVB pays their salary so if they have to stand there and make fools of themselves with all the garbage justifications that TVB made them say, they still have to do it (besides, I doubt anyone paid much attention to what they wore anyway, since most audiences were probably too busy getting pissed at the blatant government “kiss-up” session LOL). It’s actually not the first time that hosts and news anchors disagreed with TVB’s actions and the way they handle/report certain news topics, but most of them couldn’t say anything because they were under contract with TVB – as soon as their contracts were over though, they got the hell out of there (and also revealed some of the crap that was going on behind-the-scenes in the news rooms).

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  5. aiya says:

    Based on the programs described and the wide range of accessibility, it should be no mystery as to which market segment this network is going after. I think they will be successful as TVB has no grip on millenials and Genz’ers.

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  6. krolxl says:

    Here a video of them explaining about their focus.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr3aVSQC8VE

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