Advertisers wary of digital TV format

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am

Television Broadcasts (TVB), the city's largest free-to-air television broadcaster, said yesterday advertising commitments for next year showed nearly 10 per cent growth compared to this year, despite advertisers not yet signing for ads on its new high-definition (HD) channel.

General manager Cheong Shin-keong said the soon-to-be-launched digital terrestrial broadcasting service would not contribute too much to next year's revenue as advertisers would be conservative on placing their advertising budgets on the fledgling service.

'We estimated the advertising revenue for next year will grow near 10 per cent, which is much better than around 6 per cent to 7 per cent this year,' said Mr Cheong.

'The new high-definition channel provides a new option for advertisers from luxurious and branding products. They would prefer to sponsor programmes aired in the high-definition channels to reach a better quality of audience, who have higher consumption power.'

BNP Paribas analyst Silvia Ko said: 'While HD broadcasting will start in less than a month, we maintain our view that the impact will be rather neutral. Media buyers do not expect much cannibalisation of TVB's existing channels in the near term, given the initial low penetration of HD TV.'

Meanwhile, the broadcaster said one of its new channels, HD Jade, would offer 60 hours a week of programmes in high definition by January, to be extended after the Beijing Olympic Games.

However, the broadcaster's English channel, TVB Pearl, will not be airing HD programmes because of bandwidth limitations, general manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan said.