Channel could make swift return
I refer to recent letters in these columns regarding the unavailability of ESPN in Hong Kong and would like to clarify a few misconceptions.
First, Star TV (which owns 50 per cent of ESPN Star Sports) would very much like to have the ESPN service available in Hong Kong. It is most unfortunate that in earlier negotiations, Hong Kong Cable, the monopoly pay TV operator in Hong Kong, failed to agree to carry the channel even though we were willing to provide ESPN at a lower cost than Hong Kong Cable had previously paid.
Second, the impending issuance of five more pay TV licences by the Government to Star TV and others brings competition in the market for the first time. Programme providers such as ESPN Star Sports will now be able to discuss distribution with more than one pay TV operator. We are sure that ESPN's popular sports programming will be back in Hong Kong soon.
We agree with your readers that the loser in this process has been the Hong Kong viewing public. However, with the deregulation of the pay TV market, we sincerely hope that this situation will be alleviated. Star TV stands ready to provide more and better choice to our viewers. In the meantime, we can only ask the public to be patient.
BRUCE B. CHURCHILL
President and Chief