TV Plus stands firm despite failure to extend deadline

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 12:00am

TV Plus, one of Hong Kong's smallest pay-television operators, will not retreat from the market despite the Broadcasting Authority's refusal to delay its deadline a third time to complete its channel roll-out.

The Taiwanese firm missed its August deadline to introduce eight more channels to its existing line-up of 12 stations under its licence agreement and will forfeit its $500,000 bond for breach of licence.

The company said it would explain to the authority its reasons for applying to delay its roll-out for the third time. 'The Government might not understand completely our situation ... we will talk to it and set another time frame which is more realistic and acceptable to both of us,' a TV Plus spokeswoman said.

'We don't want to give up the pay-TV market, but we have to fine-tune our strategy and we want to roll out the other channels later.'

TV Plus first delayed its roll-out at the beginning of last year and then again in February this year.

The authority rejected TV Plus' application to extend its deadline on Saturday. 'It is unprecedented for a licensee to seek three consecutive deferrals in relation to the same milestone,' it said. '[The Broadcasting Authority] did not consider those submissions contained [to be] justifications for further deferral.'

TV Plus is one of the five pay-television licensees in Hong Kong. The company did not disclose its subscriber numbers but analysts said its content was not appealing to viewers despite a monthly charge of as low as $100.

TV Plus presently offers mainly Taiwanese and Japanese entertainment channels.