Heated debate is circling over the Hong Kong government’s decision to grant two free TV licenses to i-Cable’s Fantastic TV and PCCW’s HK Television Entertainment Company, while rejecting Ricky Wong (王維基)’s HKTV. The majority of Hong Kong artists expressed disappointment and concern over the future of HKTV’s staff.
Rick Wong Announces Loss of 320 Jobs
At a press conference held today, Ricky Wong expressed his disappointment and shock in the government’s decision, stating that officials did not provide a clear reason as to why HKTV was rejected. He also announced that 320 of HKTV’s 500 employees will lose their jobs, as the future of the company remains unclear. HKTV does not have plans to acquire other television stations and will not apply for a broadcasting license in 2015 when TVB and ATV’s licenses expire.
Felix Wong Expresses Concern
Felix Wong (黃日華) had openly criticized TVB’s shoddy productions and fully supported HKTV’s advent for higher-quality entertainment. He criticized the government’s opaque decision-making process, “Even if the license application is not approved, there should be a direct and clear explanation.” Felix was fully compensated while filming for HKTV’s dramas on a per-contract basis, but he expressed concern for the employees who will be losing their jobs at the end of the month.
Since many of HKTV’s staff had previously worked at TVB, Fala Chen (陳法拉) and Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) were also concerned about their former colleagues in light of upcoming layoffs.
Leila Tong (唐寧) expressed her puzzlement as to why HKTV’s license application was rejected. She praised the quality of HKTV productions, along with the hard efforts of the staff, but does not understand why “the company has no chance”.
HKTV Artists Lash Out
HKTV actors were fired up when asked to comment on the news. With their jobs on the line, many are questioning the decision and want answers. Frankie Lam (林文龍) responded angrily, demanding a clear and detailed explanation. He openly mocked the government’s intentions, finding its promise to be hypocritical. Despite the outcome, Frankie still stands behind HKTV and vows to support the station however he can.
Veteran actors Ha Yu (夏雨) and David Chiang (姜大衛) both expressed disappointment at the news, and Samuel Kwok Fung (郭峰) pledged to attend protest rallies. Former ATV actress Nina Paw (鮑起靜) echoed her colleagues’ sentiments, finding the decision unfair. She spoke highly of her boss, “Ricky Wong may not be able to compete with i-Cable and nowTV financially… but he is very sincere about creating a TV station that Hong Kong citizens will love.”
TVB artists refrained from commenting about the issue as expected. Ron Ng (吳卓羲), Kate Tsui (徐子珊), and Myolie Wu (胡杏兒) offered standard responses, saying that having additional free TV stations will generate positive competition within the industry and will therefore attract new talent.
Wong Jing Supports Government’s Decision
Director Wong Jing (王晶) firmly stands behind the government’s decision, saying that HKTV is clearly the weakest contender and has the least chance to survive in the competitive TV industry. “It is very normal to reject HKTV’s TV license. Even if they receive a license, it does not guarantee that they won’t fail.” Wong cited the company’s limited financial resources and lack of diverse programming as reasons, believing strongly that no political factors were involved. He also criticized HKTV’s lack of a dedicated news department, saying that “A TV station must promote social responsibility.”
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.