PCCW and Bloomberg may swap TV content

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 June, 2006, 12:00am

PCCW, Hong Kong's largest phone service operator, is likely to secure US-based financial information provider Bloomberg Television as a content partner for the business channel of its pay-television arm NOW Broadband TV, an industry source said.

The NOW Business News Channel debuted in March this year focusing on local and foreign stock market news and investment analysis. It markets itself as a Chinese version of Bloomberg and General Electric's CNBC, hoping to help grab viewers from major rival Cable Television, which also has a financial news channel.

NOW's newly launched channel also aims to become a partner for those foreign financial media firms who look for Chinese language programmes. CNBC, for example, picked Shanghai Media Group's China Business Network as its Chinese programme partner.

'We have been approached by Bloomberg on providing our Chinese programmes for Bloomberg's use,' said a source familiar with the situation.

The source said Bloomberg expressed interest in the programmes of NOW's financial news channel and proposed to use the programmes to build the Chinese version of Bloomberg Television Channel.

'We haven't started formal negotiations. However, Bloomberg is eager to have a Chinese television programmes source to serve Chinese audience,' the source said.

Market sources said Bloomberg may use NOW content to establish another channel that targeted markets in southern China.

Bill Dorman, the Asia Pacific head of Bloomberg Television (News) declined to comment on the partnership with PCCW.

Meanwhile, the Business News Channel will expand its coverage through mobile phone and the internet to reach more viewers, the station head Loh Chan said yesterday.

The channel is now available on PCCW's third-generation mobile phones. Mr Loh said the company would consider putting the channel's live feeds on the internet to attract viewers outside of Hong Kong.