Audience Favors HKTV’s Dramas Over TVB’s?

Above: HKTV releases trailers for “Police Boundaries” and “Flow of the Years”.

Ricky Wong’s (王維基) HKTV had expected the Hong Kong government to approve its application for the free television broadcasting license in March. HKTV had applied for the license at the end of 2009, but the government has still yet to approve it. Nonetheless, HKTV has already been promoting their new dramas online through social media websites such as YouTube and Facebook to enthusiastic public response.

Rival station, TVB, is recently suffering from low viewership ratings that have dipped below 2o points. Seeing this as a great opportunity to showcase HKTV’s productions, Ricky decided to release numerous trailers of their dramas at this time. An 11-minute trailer of Police Boundaries <警界線> has already received 133,000 clicks. Netizens praised Liu Kai Chi (廖啟智) and Dominic Lam (林嘉華) for their acting, as well as the intense action scenes. Leila Tong (唐寧) also stars in the drama.

On the other hand, Lawrence Chou’s (周俊偉) acting was criticized by netizens as being not up to par. Kai Chi expressed that the cast collaborated very well together. He said, “Everyone has room for improvement. The trailer is 11-minutes, and he is the focus. People will be more picky if I take up more time.”

Another HKTV drama that has just started filming includes Flow of the Years <歲月樓情>, starring Ha Yu (夏雨) and Paw Hee Ching (鮑起靜). It will have a total of 14 episodes. A 5-minute trailer was already released on Facebook, featuring Hee Ching’s character being beaten up by her former husband, while Ha Yu’s character came to the rescue. The scenes were violent and of heavy taste.

HKTV’s assistant director of corporate communications, Jessie Cheng (鄭靜雯), was asked if they would release the entire drama online if the broadcasting license is still not issued after a lengthy period. She replied, “I don’t think so. The drama will broadcast after the license is officially received.”

Netizens were quick to praise HKTV’s filming methods, and compared it to that of TVB’s. A netizen remarked, “All the scenes look as if it were a movie. If I’m the boss of TVB, I would be very scared.” Another said, “I’ve put up with TVB for a long time! Quickly issue the license!”

“Police Boundaries” 11-Minute Trailer

[vsw id=”H561wTHAnlY” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”375″ autoplay=”no”]

“Flow of the Years” Trailer

[vsw id=”ULjCjwrXgCo” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”375″ autoplay=”no”]


This article is written by Shirley for

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  1. ” A 5-minute trailer was already released on Facebook, featuring Hee Ching’s character being beaten up by her former husband” Is there a different trailer released from the one linked above? The one above only shows her looking for her daughter…

    Trailers are usually cut to be thrilling and good, will have to see the whole series before judging whether it’s better than TVB.

    1. Having said that, I’m looking forward to see HKTV’s productions. There’s also a clip for “Brain Opening Detective” with Felix Wong. That clip was the most intriguing for me.

      1. I also found Brain Opening Detective to be the most intriguing of all the trailers released so far. Something about it appealed to me as I have always enjoyed suspense/thrillers.

    1. *HKTV drama! Though its weird that the dramas are so short!

      1. not really. Japanese dramas, which are insanely popular, are all 12 episodes max. some are even at 9 episodes.

      2. They are *actually* follow the American model of giving between 13 to 25 something episode in one season…. as reported months back. They may do it per weekly and against 5 days airing straight like TVB.

      3. @ Larry 3

        There is certainly potential for experimenting with the business model. I think Mainland’s scheduling is even crazier – airing 2-3 episodes per night. How can people follow that?

  2. It’s been over 3 years since HKTV applied for the license. I don’t know what the law or regulations are re media licenses for a tv station, but what’s the reason for the delay?

    1. can some1 enlighten us on the delay?
      mmm trailers are impressive

      1. It is VERY LOW Priority. Hong Kong government has a budget issue that is taking over time.

        Also, TVB is appealing the judicial review again.

        Hell, I dont think anyone of the three requester will get their TV operations started in 2014-ish.

      2. I won’t be surprised if the whole process gets stalled. It would be sad for those that still watch Hong Kong TV on a regular basis.

      3. TVB wins then. Go slow poke Red Hong Kong government.

      4. I am surprised at the delay. I thought HK prided itself as an international business center where competition and market forces ruled. This is reminiscent of the worst stereotypes of third world countries where government red tape and corruption are the norm.

      5. The judicial review submitted by TVB was rejected by the high court a few weeks ago. Now it would be interesting to see what the excuse is for the delay.

      6. HKTV will get the license “until the cows come home” …Oh! it should -> “when the cows come home”

    2. HKTV drama sucks, the quality looks terrible. Boring plot

      1. I half agree and half disagree with you- I think in terms of the quality of the filming, it’s quite impressive having a film-editing sort of feel to it’s editing quality. As for plot wise, absolutely agree… watching the trailer, the plots seemed quite boring, I don’t find much interest in watching the actual drama personally. Maybe it’s also because I’m quite unfamilar with most of the faces (with a few recognisable ones that I haven’t seen on screen for quite some time!) that I don’t really care for the characters hence don’t care about the story. I don’t mind if HKTV is legally licensed-TVB will have healthy competition imo, and would give viewers a wider range of entertainment (not to mention perhaps make tvb really improve on their quality in production-afterall, tvb surely has hit a new low with its poor ratings this year so far…what the hell happened to the good old days of better dramas….) It’d be up to the audience to decide who they would like to watch, I mean if the dramas are genuinely well written and scripted i’m sure they’d be worthy of a large audience…cant just expect audiences to continuously tune into crap. Everyone can draw out their final straw in putting up with things that they would often give hope for, only to be disappointed in the end.

      2. But tbh, the main reason why I would like HKTV to be licensed is because I am hoping it’d get tvb off its lazy arse and start producing better dramas knowing it’d have competition (whether they would be actually a competition or not in producing good dramas would be another story, but at least they’d ATTEMPT to pick up their game and IMPROVE!!! Seriously…)

  3. They suck. Please don’t approve to Ricky Wong.

    1. are you seriously? If they are not approving for Ricky Wong, TVB will never learn from their mistakes.

      1. TVB will never learn their mistakes at all.

    2. @Mlove totally agree with you on that. those clips sucks big time. Don’t approve to Ricky Wong’s so called tv station. it will be a huge mistake

    3. If their dramas would truly suck, im sure they would not gain much viewership anyway…so whether they get legally licensed or not, wouldnt really matter if their dramas suck in the 1st place. I mean what’s tvb’s for HKTV NOT to be licensed, tvb’s fear that it’d ‘out-do’ them with their productions? If so, then I sure do hope the new station gets licensed so that tvb would level up their quality of work

  4. Im not that impress with all the previews, yet. If I were HKTV, I would really release 1/2 of episode 1 or even full, just to really experience HKTV around TVB anniversary time.

  5. It’s STILL WAY TOO EARLY to see who’s better.

    And the title “Audience favours HKTV’s Dramas over TVB’s?” is a huge stereotype.

    1. Yes is too early to see who is better, but for the start HKTV will willing pay huge budget to inadequate a big impact.
      But back of the mind of many, the actors/actress are rejected goods

    2. ‘Rejected goods’?? What a stupid thing to say. These are actors and actresses, many of them veterans, who chose to leave TVB to support a new station, not the other way around. Maybe in the back of the mind of many, TVB is the soon-to-be ‘rejected’ HK station.

      1. Maybe ‘Expiry Goods’ sound better ?

        I also believe one day TVB will be ‘rejected’ HK station. Won’t be from Ricky HKTV.
        Maybe in 5 to 10 years time company from mainland China will get TVB rejected HK my guess ( My forecast never come

    3. I agree. I also feel that it is way too early to see who’s better.

      But honestly having a drama in which viewers enjoy and have a lasting impression is the best thing ever.

  6. I feel bad for TVB but i feel that its about time they improve and step out of their comfort zone.

    1. I dont feel bad for tvb- they can’t expect viewers to religiously watch their channel for dramas etc when most of their work continue to disappoint hence plummet down in viewers. If they want people to watch their channel, then they have to make it worth people’s interests. I genuinely want tvb to improve and be better :/ because growing up watching their dramas, its so sad to see their quality of work spiral downwards. If this is meant to be a wake up call for their situation then bring in the new station already

  7. don’t be fooled by those trailers. It sucks

  8. trailers look superb. loveeee hee ching and leila tong! will definitely support this series.

  9. Thought Lawrence Chou acted well..surprised that netizens think otherwise..

  10. No one will trump TVB. But the more the merrier. And if I said TVB’s stars are getting old, imagine the rivals with former A lister in TVB, more old. I think the audience will watch for nostalgia and will get ratings if ratings are good but to make an impact takes a lot. Not even ATV at their best could trump TVB for a long time.

    1. really? im not so sure about this,time has changed.if hktv have enough budget and creativity i think they will be a greater rival than atv in best days.

      1. ” i think they will be a greater rival than atv in best days.”

        ATV at their great days were miles ahead of TVB not in terms of creativity, acting, costume. But in storytelling and scripts. Can HKTV achieve that? The golden years of ATV where the script mattered the most?

      2. @ Funn Lim


        The industry isn’t the same as it used to be. The “pie” for media consumption is already being split with many parties that didn’t exist back in ATV/TVB’s glory days. So companies must be content with a smaller market share nowadays. In that sense, it’s actual more possible for a companies to challenge TVB simply because TVB is no longer so far ahead as in the past. Similarly, companies might be able to find a business model where they are not only dependent of the HK market, esp. if it turns out that the HK market really can’t sustain more than one company.

  11. Both trailers have a movie feel to it. I think it would be a boost if the films are shot with HDTV in mind, which TVB doesn’t. It looks like watching an extended version of a movie. That alone I feel entices me, irrespective of the trailer. Again without a license it would be useless. But it doesn’t stop the series being licensed out of HK doesn’t it? If it doesn’t why not show in other countries to generate publicity? Youtube will help.

  12. If they can’t get a license, they can broadcast it online on viveo, youtube + tudou/youku, etc.

    but the trailers don’t really make me want to watch it.

    1. Those are free sites. Why should they? They can distribute overseas to Korea, China, Malaysia, etc. Those will make money and make news.

      1. Because HKTV was supposed to be a Free TV station. And if you think about it, by broadcasting on youtube/tudou/whatnot, they could aim for a partnership where they gain money. :S
        Every country has their own broadcasting policies.

        Also, why would they want to ship to Korea when they have their own South Korea dramas? And South korea dramas > HK dramas.

      2. Oh yeh in korea televsion tvb is one of their channels just saying but is dubbed in korea

      3. Youtube is not a gold money at all. For instance PSY only makes less then US$10 million for a BILLION views.

      4. Broadcasting on youtube won’t generate million of bucks for HKTV but it’s a good starting point (if they can’t generate any profit). And plus, they already aired some trailers on youtube. So it wouldn’t hurt 1 full episode on youtube and go from there.

        And if they want to enter in Canada, their channel needs to be 60%-70% owned by Canadians and approved by CRTC.

      5. Look, HKTV is still in planning stages (BABY steps). Canada is not on their list to do, yet.

        Youtube is a good step just for a band-aid when the HK gov finally has balls to issue the license.

      6. and they still need money to build up a studio and other TV tech stuff.

        Just dont look at their stock price….

      7. I know that..
        and i’m just stating that as an example.

      8. Sissy,

        their channel needs to be 60%-70% owned by Canadians in order to enter in canada? How many chinese people are there in canada?

      9. Free yes, but ad revenue may be more on TV than youtube. I say sell DVDs. More profit.

      10. best to check CRTC requirements to see how to get a TV channel license.

        And selling dvds is a good idea but me being cheap, i wouldn’t spend $$ on any dramas.

      11. DVD is going backwards, the trend is online entertainment. It will only head towards that direction and not backwards to DVDS.

        Ricky Wong has proposed having two versions for his series. One for TV that will pass the regulations in HK, the other is online for more “daring” shows.

      12. DVDs? Are you kidding??????

        HKTV still has no legit plan b.

      13. the trend is online entertainment. It will only head towards that direction and not backwards to DVDS.

        Exactly! Online (free streaming) > purchasing DVDs/paid tv.

  13. Not surprise audience favour others than tvb..all good and experienced artists have left them only the newbies around..

    1. although good actors, but not well known. Definitely prefer TVB than the so called HKTV

    2. In that case tvb must work harder to produce better dramas for us not the boring one….

  14. Instead of worrying about being overtaken, TVB should be thinking hard on how to woo back lost audiences. It seems lesser people are watching TVB dramas now and that’s not because of competing stations.

    I do not think HKTV or any other new stations will ever overtake TVB, at least not in the near future. In fact, I think HKTV is doing TVB a huge favour with the release of those clips. The audience feedback received so far should give TVB more than enough ideas on how to improve.

    Even if HKTV gets the license and I watch its dramas, it does not mean that I will stop supporting TVB. I totally agree with what some of you have pointed out. As a viewer, having a new TV station is good news as that would mean one more interesting thing to do during free time. This is just likewise to the fact that people who watch TVB dramas may be watching US/Japan/Korea/Taiwan/Mainland etc dramas at the same time too.

    I miss those times when I am constantly looking forward to the next episode, and to dramas with great plot. Sincerely, I hope that TVB starts listening to audiences, and for HKTV to be granted the license.

  15. the serie look good,,, I am looking forward for it,,,

  16. I have a feeling that the main hk audiences which are the housewives will not like these series.

    1. All it takes is a good show to change people’s behavior and get a totally different demographic into watching your station. It happens all the time in the US.
      I think the reason only housewives watch now, is because there are NO decent shows that would interest or stimulate a younger or male audience.
      HKTV are trying with the cop show and Felix’s detective show. Those look to be more aimed at a younger demographic who enjoy action/drama.
      Look at 24, Friends, X-files, etc.. those shows grabbed lots of people who wouldn’t normally watch much tv.
      Not to mention that if the shows are good enough, they can start to export them instead of importing from Korea and Japan.
      Would be cool to see HK dramas just as popular as imported stuff. HKTV has a chance to change things.
      If they try and fail then oh well.
      Things will never change if no one tries. Expect TVB quality for the next 20 years +, if they even stay afloat that long.

      1. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Unfortunately the housewives watching the series are generating ads/ revenue. So to shift th demographic, TVB must be bold and take some pain. But right now they are in a hot mess after being so complacent and lazy because they have monopolised HK tv market for so long.

        I do hope HKTV and other stations in HK will get their licences awarded soon… To create healthy competition and hopefully to reinvigorate HK tv back to their glory days. I love the old series, At The Threshold of an Era, Legendary Four Aces, Healing Hands, the original War and Beauty…

  17. I have a feeling that once they get approved, you will see a LOT more TVB actors jump ship. The only reason most actors stayed was because of the uncertainty of the license and they need a paycheck to live on.
    Calling the people who filmed for KHTV unwanted or rejects is just wrong/untrue.
    Lots of those guys regularly film movies – more so than most of the people who stayed at TVB.
    They are familiar with how REAL entertainment is made and so the decision was probably pretty damn easy to jump ship for them.
    I would guess that filming with experienced actors/directors/writers is also a lot easier than the chumps who make TVB shows with flying papers and over-promoted amateur actors.

    1. I agree. Once HKTV gets their licence, and if their dramas are well received, there will be many TVB artists (especially the neglected good ones) who will jump ship. But I doubt that’s the biggest worry for TVB since new artists can be recruited and groomed and the loyal ones will stay. The biggest problem will be that their huge advertising income will be diluted (TVB more or less monopolies the HK drama series market), as well as the commissions from their managed artists will be reduced if these people do not want to sign a contract with TVB.

    2. Funny, how about that chump who films with no script? Im pretty sure hes an experienced actor/director/writer.

  18. It is still way too early to tell so lets wait and see. Too bad they do not have any ancient series yet. I wonder how their ancient series will be compared to TVB??

    1. They need a studio to film a ancient series.

      1. I thought they already had a studio for everything ready?? Do they only have a studio for modern series OR do they just use the real life streets and locations in HK?? I am really confused….

  19. Ep1 is awesome… sooo good. can’t wait to watch the next ep. Great work.

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