HK govt reviews free TV and sound broadcasting licences

Hong Kong's Communications Authority (CA) has announced the commencement of the public consultation exercise for the mid-term review of the domestic free TV licences and sound broadcasting licences, inviting the public to offer views and opinion on the services of Fantastic TV, HK Television Entertainment Company (HKTVE), Television Broadcasts (TVB), Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company and Metro Broadcast Corporation.

The consultation period will last for two months until 9 November 2021. As all licenses are valid until 2027 or 2028, the authority said according to the relevant statutory requirements and licence conditions, these licences need to be reviewed by the chief executive in council in the sixth year of the 12-year validity period of the licence between 2021 and 2022.

The CA added that given the proximity of the review periods of these licences and to more efficiently manage these mid-term reviews, it decided to conduct a consolidated exercise for all the free TV and sound broadcasting licences. Following the established practice, the CA will evaluate five company's performance against statutory requirements and licence conditions, as well as formulate recommendations for consideration and approval by the chief executive in council. 

The free TV licences of HKTVE, TVB and Fantastic TV are valid for 12 years from 1 April 2015, to March 31 2027, from 1 December 2015, to 30 November 2027, and from 31 May 2016, to 30 May, 2028, respectively. The sound broadcasting licences of CRHK and Metro are valid for 12 years from August 26, 2016, to August 25, 2028.

The CA has also commissioned Nielsen Company (Hong Kong) to conduct an opinion survey expected to be conducted between October and December 2021 to collect public views on the services provided by the three domestic free TV licensees and the two sound broadcasting licensees. An online public consultation session will also be conducted by the CA on 25 September 25 2021, to listen to views and suggestions expressed by members of the public on the licensees' services.

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(Photo courtesy: 123rf)

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