Galaxy has estates in its sights for sales push

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:00am

Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting is extending its network coverage to large housing estates and is confident of signing up more than 100 subscribers a day.

The loss-making pay-television venture of Television Broadcasts said it would soon start promotions at Heng Fa Chuen for the service. The area has 6,500 homes.

It is also in talks to extend its coverage to housing estates such as Mei Foo Sun Chuen, which has more than 50,000 residents.

Galaxy's service has been hindered by poor satellite network coverage - its satellite footprint is limited to about 500,000 homes.

New subscribers will be charged $128 a month for about 20 channels - if they agree to a 12-month contract - down from $168. This compares with dominant pay-television operator i-Cable Communications' $308 a month for more than 60 channels and niche player Hong Kong Broadband Network's (HKBN) 30 channels at $108.

The company has used aggressive promotional campaigns, especially in public housing areas such as Cheung On Estate in Tsing Yi and Tai Hing Estate in Tuen Mun.

Recently, Galaxy gave away items such as 20-inch televisions, computer hardware and telephones to boost subscriptions. A similar tactic was also used by HKBN.

'We have now stopped giving free appliances to customers,' a Galaxy spokeswoman said. 'The $128 package is attractive enough.'

Industry players estimated Galaxy's 10-month-old service had more than 10,000 subscribers. The company had said it hoped to break even with 300,000 to 400,000 users after three to four years of operation, but TVB this target would be adjusted.