TVB goes head to head with HKTV in aggressive OTT offering

Hong Kong's largest broadcaster TVB continues to strengthen its already dominant position in Hong Kong with a new over-the-top (OTT) broadcast service launching next January, going head-to-head with HKTV.

In collaboration with Hutchison Global Communications and 3 Hong Kong in sales and distribution, the new service will be distributed through TV box, a new website and on mobile, which aims to offer what it calls a “new television experience” to entice audiences with a raft of popular TV dramas.

As a continuation of the existing myTV platform, the new service will be split into free and pay models. A total of 13 paid channels will be launched to carry a range of local and international TV shows from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, mainland China and some Western markets. A monthly subscription fee of less than HK$100 will be charged.

Subscription packages can be tailor-made to match users' preferences. For example, users can choose to purchase only the TV box or both TV box and internet content.

New content also includes a collection of 1,700 traditional dramas of the TVB classic movies on up-coming paid channel TVB Classic. Value-added services, such as personal profile with viewing history, video-on-demand and catch up services, will also be included.

All the channels will be available on television, various electronic and mobile devices.

The announcement comes at a time when Fox International has just announced an ambitious investment plan into local TV drama and films with around HK$1 million on each production.

In what is called "the best timing", TVB executive director and general manager Shin Keong Cheong said the platform aims to ensure a provision of diverse, convenient and high quality personalised TV encounter to provide a "new TV experience not only to TVB itself, but also to the audience of Hong Kong as a whole".

He said the platform is "content provider friendly", meaning the company is open for content providers, be they big or small, to apply for partnership with the new TVB platform. When asked of opportunities for collaboration with HKTV, Cheong stressed that the company was "open to options".