The Communications Authority (CA) decided that local broadcaster TVB had breached the CAâ€™s direction in relation to the pre-emption of RTHK programme Headliner without approval on 30 June.
The authority decided that TVB should be “strongly advised” to observe more closely the conditions of its free-to-air licence, after receiving 406 complaints about what it did on 30 June, when Chinese president Xi Jinping was in the city to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kongâ€™s return to Chinese rule.
A TVB spokesman said the CAâ€™s decision showed complete disregard for the circumstances under which the RTHK programme was rescheduled to give way to a speech by Xi Jinping in Hong Kong for the 20th anniversary of HKSAR.
In a statement titled “Must-carry RTHK programmes should stop” by TVB, its spokesman said it was the first visit for Xi to visit Hong Kong as president and “Isnâ€™t the presidentâ€™s first speech in Hong Kong more significant than the weekly Headliner, which is not even a news programme?”
The spokesman added that mandatory carriage of RTHK programmes “adversely affects” TVBâ€™s programming and rescheduling flexibility. “RTHK, which now has three digital terrestrial TV channels and two analogue TV channels, has no reason to continue to occupy TVBâ€™s precious high-rating time slots. This outdated requirement should cease as soon as possible.”