Ricky Wong Considered Buying TVB
On November 5, HKTV chairman Ricky Wong (王維基) attended a seminar for Hong Kong Shue Yan University’s department for journalism and communication and expressed his feelings about HKTV’s current situation and the station’s dim future. The Hong Kong government’s controversial rejection of HKTV’s bid for a free-to-air television license three weeks ago led the public to form rallies and question the viability of the Hong Kong government.
Still seeking for a concrete answer for why HKTV was rejected, Ricky Wong said he will cancel his pursuit of a television business if HKTV does not earn a license within the next six months. He compared the situation like a bad relationship breakup – it is better to end things off quickly than to let it drag on forever.
Wong said he is currently looking into alternate plans to try in the next three to six months, to see if HKTV is suitable to tackle other business aspects of television. He hinted that he is considering producing Internet dramas, but online television series have to compete against international productions, thus HKTV’s production methods will have to be changed and revised.
Wong also said he had considered buying TVB, Hong Kong’s leading television station. “I contemplated it, but [TVB] is too large, and it successfully serves a particular group of audience. It is difficult to reform an established and successful organization.”
He stressed that he never considered purchasing the ailing ATV, despite the insistence of Legislative Council member Tam Yiu Chung (譚耀宗). He said, “They shouldn’t even be called ‘Asia Television’ if they can’t do well in Hong Kong.”
In a six-page statement released yesterday, the Hong Kong government reiterated that sustaining five free television networks in Hong Kong can lead to a collapse in its free-to-air market. The statement also stressed that issuing a fifth television station will dilute the advertising revenue even further.
Furthermore, according to the government’s official response, HKTV lacked the support of a corporate parent to financially support the station, in which new free stations Hong Kong Television Entertainment and Fantastic Television, respectively subsidiaries of PCCW and i-Cable, had.
HKTV stated that the government’s statement was selective and it still left many questions unanswered.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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