Ratings for HKTV Dramas Continue to Decline

Although Ricky Wong (王維基) spent years poaching TVB artistes, he found little success ever since the launch of HKTV. Already performing worse than ATV in terms of viewership ratings, HKTV’s drama viewership numbers hit an all time low this month.

Before the official ratings were unveiled, Ricky held a company party last week and indicated his intention of producing many new dramas this year. However, the ratings report painted a different picture than Wong’s confident speech.

The number of unique daily HKTV viewers dropped from 57,000 to 45,000 over a one-week period as of March 3. Even with the increase of mobile and TV app downloads in the last month, HKTV’s dramas failed to reach a wide audience. Although dramas The Borderline <警界線> and The Election <選戰> generated a lot of initial buzz, viewers seemed to have lost interest recently.

With only a handful of completed dramas left to air, it is estimated that HKTV’s series line up will only last through September. As a result, commercials were added during episode broadcasts to generate additional revenue to help fund filming of future dramas.

Source: ihktv.com

This article is written by Su for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Many hktv artists left the company already. Its good to see them back in tvb series.

    1. Now that a bunch of HKTV dramas have aired, imo it’s safe to say that a lot of talent is out there still but TVB never tapped into them. Most of the KLF have had a good chance to showcase their years of acting experience in some of these dramas and I really enjoy that aspect. I’ve seen some of them in different roles and they hold it up quite well. The same thing seems to be happening at TVB now that they’re having a talent drain and a lot of actors are getting pushed up to fill in shoes left behind.

      I’m hoping those who went back don’t get shafted again. Perhaps too much wishful there?

      1. So glad to see more talented artists are getting more jobs/chances.

    2. Interestingly enough, very few artists and behind-the-scenes people who left HKTV actually returned to TVB. Most were freelance already when they worked for HKTV and many of those who left chose other paths such as pursuing a movie career, filming in Mainland, participating in various projects involving movies, TV, stage, radio, etc. (some even decided to just reduce their work load completely so they can finally enjoy life). Nowadays, there are other options besides TVB, which is great to see, especially since it means better opportunities for the artists and hopefully more recognition for the talented ones who have perhaps been neglected all these years.

      For me personally, I liked seeing so many artists I grew up watching but hadn’t seen in a long time return to the small screen with roles that allowed them to showcase their talents. That’s one of the things HKTV did very successfully and I definitely applaud them for it!

  2. I like The Election but disappointed with the ending. All other drama are boring, it does not entertain me.

  3. They gotta go international and offer their drama to the world. They need a service like netflix. If this goes on HKTV will just be something from the past.

  4. I was excited at the beginning, get to see more hong kong drama, man, the acting is bad, bye bye hktv.

  5. whre is felix wong? i still waiting for his supernatural drama to be aired.

  6. been watching every series so far, they are pretty good…some great stuff some not so great, but overall still better than tvb

  7. So, the HK government was right in their decision after all.

    1. No, it’s not. By not giving the station a license, HK government has denied it a fair playing ground.

      If HKTV has free license, viewers can just tune the channel on their TV to watch the series. Now, people have to download apps, and many complained of slowness or lack during the main streaming hours. This will turn off potential viewers.

      Secondly HKTV series has many time slots to watch the same drama. So, I don’t know how the ratings is measured. All I know is some viewers watch during off hours. I don’t know exactly how it works. But, I remember reading in HKGolden forum that supporters view the series off peak hours but continue to on the app during official stream to increase the ratings.

      TVB and ATV, with their license allow viewers easy access. Casual viewers to go to easy route.

  8. Only watched Borderline and The Election so far, keen to watch The Menu.

    1. I am watching it now. Up to EP two. I like it.

      I loved The Election despite the ending and also To Be Or Not To Be. I am looking forward to the one with Felix and Leila where Leila gets continuously slapped by Bao Hei Jing in the Sales Presentation.

      But so far, thumbs down on the bad editing of the Black Rose series. And I’m not that impressed by the Second Life series even though I like Bondi Chiu. Disliked that singing series as well.

  9. I think they still deserve a chance mainly for their seriousness and passion in producing quality dramas.

    Wish they had a license.

  10. Wow, what a biased article!  I can’t believe that even now, the HK media is still trying to compare HKTV with TVB and ATV in terms or ratings – what’s worse, there are still so many people out there buying into this ratings thing, which tells me that there are still people who can’t tell the difference between an actual licensed TV station and an on-line shopping network that airs TV series on demand. Also, viewing platforms and schedules are different – by trying to compare HKTV’s “on-demand” formula to TVB’s “prime-time” formula, they are essentially trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Oh and whoever wrote this this article obviously has not been watching any of HKTV’s dramas – the commercials during episode broadcasts have been there SINCE THE BEGINNING…if you watch the series on HKTV’s mobile app or on their website, there are commercials in between every single segment of every episode…that’s the way they’ve done it since The Borderline started airing back in November, so not sure why this article is trying to make it sound like this is something new.   Speaking of commercials….I personally actually like the way HKTV has been incorporating some of the commercials into their programs  – very innovative and very clever (those who’ve been watching their series will know what I’m talking about).

    1. Definitely bias reporting. I agree with you on the commercial part. It’s been there since the first series. I always see that Ah Huat picture move across the screen. So funny.

      1. I initially got annoyed by the chicken drumstick running across the screen in The Borderline in the middle of gun fights, but I think HKTV have improved the timing of the ads and now its more acceptable.

        I think HKTV deserves a licence. They have worked hard and show some promise and respect in their productions. Have the new stations that got the two licences produced anything yet? I really don’t feel a big change since the licences were granted.

    2. @ilwy i do often agree with you, but this time i think you are the biased one? look at the facts,they started promising with 3 good dramas in a row with “to be or not to be” as their best drama thus far in my opinion. but the quality gone quickly downhill after that. once upon a song and incredible mama are on it best not interesting. couldnt this also play a part for the drops in ratings?

      1. @kolo:  Please read the article again.  The biased part isn’t the piece about interest dropping – of course it’s a fact that interest will drop, since each person has different preferences and not every series is going to appeal to everyone.   That’s a fact that I’m not debating.  But if you read the rest of the article and the words that were used, it’s hard not to see that the article is hugely slanted.  First of all, let’s take the ratings piece – how fair is it to compare the ratings of TVB/ATV and HKTV when they are on 2 different broadcasting platforms with different business models, then use those ratings to argue that HKTV sucks (which is what this article is essentially doing)?  If HKTV were a free TV operator like TVB and ATV, then ok, I’m fine with the comparison but the fact is, they are not – so for the writer to use the ratings comparison as the basis of his/her argument on why HKTV is a failure, I honestly don’t see how that is not being biased.  Oh, and to say that HKTV is performing worse than ATV (a station that hasn’t produced an original series in ages…and can’t even pay its staff, to boot!)….how is this comparison even relevant? 

        Also, the last paragraph about the commercials is hugely inaccurate, as Kidd and I already pointed out in our comments.   If the intention of the writer of this article is not to be biased, then why not just present the facts and let readers judge for themselves rather than make the various assertions/assumptions he/she makes in the article in the hopes of steering readers in a certain direction? Present the facts in a neutral manner without leaning toward either side – that’s what I would call “unbiased”….this article obviously failed to do that.

      2. @ilwy,i think you are right about the rating comparison part. but the last part i think the writer means that hktv added more commercials during episode broadcast?

        “Present the facts in a neutral manner without leaning toward either side – that’s what I would call “unbiased”….this article obviously failed to do that.”

        if this is a journalistic website i would agree with you,but this is a gossip/showbiz website,therefor i dont think that they have to be that strict.writers are also humans,most important is that the writer must not telling some untruth.

      3. “for the writer to use the ratings comparison as the basis of his/her argument on why HKTV is a failure, I honestly don’t see how that is not being biased”

        Totally agree!!

        The writer is an “idiot” with lousy journalism ethics. Totally “corrupt” journalism!!

    3. Agree the article is bias. Agree too that it is unfair and rather dumb to compare ratings since TVB and HKTV dramas air on different platforms. But I concur with the article that after the initial buzz generated by The Election and Borderline, interest fizzled out. At least for me. I watched Borderline and To Be or Not To Be. Solid cast for both dramas, great acting, good story lines. Borderline got me hooked. TBONTB started promising but became rather draggy. That musical totally lost me. Stopped watching 5 mins into first episode. The Election one episode per week format didn’t work for me cos I like to watch on dramas on a daily basis.

    4. you cant compare tvb/atv with hktv in terms of ratings,this is not the point. what this article want to say is how difficult it is for mr wong to keep his hktv running. i know that is hard for you ilwy to accept because you are a die hard hktv fan,nevertheless there is hope for mr wong the only option for him is to buy atv. further i can not see any other option he will survive.

      1. “the only option for him (Ricky Wong) is to buy atv. further i can not see any other option he will survive”

        If the government (China) is determined to be a HUGE obstacle in Ricky Wong’s path, he needs to remove the nuisance from his path (by moving his company outside of China’s control).

      2. I don’t think buying ATV is the only option. This option allows HKTV dramas to be aired in HK on the traditional TV platform and garner advertising revenue. But these days, people don’t watch their shows on TV and at a fixed timing. They go online and watch it at a time best suited to this schedule; sometimes accumulating several episodes before they watch at one sitting. HKTV should maximize the potential of this platform especially for audiences overseas. They could charge audiences for downloading their shows (overseas audiences have to pay to rent TVB series) BUT to do that, HKTV needs to ensure top quality so that audiences are willing to pay. Partnering with overseas cable networks is also another option. HKTV needs to reach a wider market than the local HK audience.

      3. @lol: Um, I don’t see how my commenting on the ratings bit and the biased nature of the article equates to not seeing that HKTV has a difficult road ahead. Anyone with a brain can see that things are not going to be easy for Ricky Wong, especially if he continues to stubbornly limit his options to HK audiences only (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve commented on this fact the past few years). My intention was to point out the huge bias in the article and the poor ethics of the writer (mainly because that’s one of my pet peeves)…but of course, you are subject to your opinion, so interpret as you wish…

        And no, I don’t agree with your assertion that RW’s only option is to buy ATV. However, I won’t rehash that argument here, since MW and Queen already explained the same sentiments I have on this subject below.

        P.S.: By the way….no, I’m not a ‘die-hard HKTV fan’, as I have a very narrow definition of the word ‘fan’ and therefore have that word reserved for only a few select people in my book. However, I don’t object to being called a ‘die-hard HKTV supporter’ (though for accuracy’s sake, it should really be ‘die-hard HKTV as well as continued long-time TVB supporter’.) 🙂

      4. “Partnering with overseas cable networks is also another option. “

        HKTV is at least doing this in Malaysia. We can watch HKTV series in Astro channel 307. Not only that. The series was also promoted on radio. Whenever a HKTV series start airing, I will hear interview of its cast in MyFM.

        HKTV series are also sold in Speedy Video Store.

      5. Good to know Kidd! I believe Malaysia is a huge market with a large fan base for HK dramas.

  11. “As a result, commercials were added during episode broadcasts to generate additional revenue to help fund filming of future dramas.”

    Uh, commercials has been added to episode broadcast since the first series ‘Boderline’. That’s HKTV’s syle. When watching ‘Borderline’, I often see ‘Ah Huat White Coffee’, ‘KFC’, ‘HK Broadband’ label move across the screen. Sometimes, it produced funny moments, like in a kissing scene, it shows a lip gloss label or something.

    I also get to see commercials for Vitamin C, KFC, a Cereal brand, during interlude. The dip Jack KFC commercial is especially funny. 🙂

    1. Totally agree! The dip Jack commercial was hilarious (and loved the way they incorporated into The Borderline — I totally fell for the “trick” thinking I was watching the series when it was actually a commercial). I also like the Lexus commercials that they incorporated into The Election, spinning part of the plot involving Gregory Wong’s character into the commercial. No wonder so many advertisers are willing to support HKTV — they make watching the commercials memorable and fun!

  12. election was good
    borderline was okay
    maggie show wasnt bad

  13. The Dramas from HKTV that aired were only so, so…. not as good as I thought they would be. For the amount of hype that’s been going around, I would have higher expectations from them. Borderline and Maggie’s drama was the longest and the rest were gather short!! For the amount of time, quality should be better…. If HKTV was a free station, who’s not to say, the quality will end up like TVB. Over all, weather it’s TVB or HKTV, HK drama / Series, definitely have room for IMPROVEMENT!!

  14. HKTV, TVB or whatever HK ..TV still come from same group of ppl mah. Must give chance to really talented writers and ppl. Then only got chance to succeed. Already HK entertainment down the drain. Wake up la people.

  15. Has anyone watch ‘Second Life’? The premise seems interesting. I’m interested in watching it but don’t have time yet.

    1. I haven’t yet, mainly because I’m not too keen on the cast — but I’m interested in seeing how they incorporate the time travel element. The only thing is the series got cut down to 11 episodes (it was originally supposed to be 25 episodes), so not sure how well the plot will flow. I’ll probably skip it for now and watch The Menu instead (watched 2 episodes and it’s quite good so far).

      1. “The only thing is the series got cut down to 11 episodes (it was originally supposed to be 25 episodes)”

        That seems like bad news. Will is even make sense anymore? But, anyway, I’ll still watch it. I like the cast, and it’s about music.

    2. I didn’t feel the shortening had too much of an impact, it was probably cleaner and got to the point more. No needless drag and insertion of random plots to fill in air time.

      I’ll keep it short as to not spoil it, but if you’re familiar with the butterfly effect you will probably notice it. If not, enjoy!

      1. Yes, I’ve watch ‘Butterfly Effect’. When I saw the premise, the first thing I thought was this movie.

  16. I’m a supporter of HKTV, but the interest is definitely dropping when even the online illegal media ripper and distributors don’t even have interest to distribute HKTV content in HD anymore. For the last 2-3 dramas broadcasted online, there’s been ZERO 720P HD torrents available (that I can find). Only SD content is available now and they are crap quality.

  17. You think any Tom&Harry wanted to invest in drama industry then the HK government will grant you the license? Except that to be or not to be quite nice , others totally cannot. The current one the worst of all and cannot afford to watch after 10minutes. Such quality better close shop better. All the good quality actors with TVB now and cantanose drama production always with limited resources aka good actor/actress. HK dont need so much tv station. or else will produce sht dramas like what hktv is doing now. duh..

    1. You are so backward… TVB does not have “all good quality actors.” Most of the good ones flocked off to China. Some really good ones are with HKTV. TVB is done to the bones when it comes to talent. Hence they’re so desperately promoting green newbs like Grace, Sisley, Tony, etc. HK needs MORE not less TV stations so they can compete and produce better series. TVB has monopoly right now and it’s clearly decreased their quality. Yes, HKTV has crappy series too. Their first 3 series are great. On top of that, more employers equal more jobs. I don’t understand why govt is again it. Well, I do understand why but it’s stupid…

  18. Just watched The Menu. Like! I have always been a fan of Catherine Chau Kar Yi, since her role in Dance of Passion. Finally a watchable HKTV drama after a series of c^@p.

  19. the election, borderline, to be or not to be, and the menu so far are great shows…great story, good acting, fresh topics, very good job

  20. Watch up to episode 9 of ‘Once Upon A Song’. A bit uneven. There are some parts I like and some I don’t. But, overall I still find it enjoyable. I want to thank the series for introducing me to Lesley and Benji. 🙂

    I part I don’t like the most is Bernice Liuu’s part. One is because her acting is poor. Second is because I find her storyline a waste of time.

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