Setback for pay TV

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 February, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 February, 1993, 12:00am

HONGKONG'S pay television network is unlikely to come into operation until well into next year because of Government delays in granting a licence, broadcasting industry observers warn. Officials, including Recreation and Culture Branch Secretary Mr James So Yiu-cho, said Wharf Cable was certain to be issued with a licence last month and its system would begin operating by October. But the Government has still not indicated when Wharf will receive the licence, prompting speculation the $6 billion project will not go on air for at least a year.

One observer said: ''The Legal Department is being incredibly slow about drafting the licence. This is down to bureaucratic hold-ups, even though they are trying to hint they are being held up by the Chinese. How on earth can the Chinese hold up somethingthat does not exist? The ball is squarely in the Government's court.''