Cable TV will increase price before World Cup

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 October, 2009, 12:00am

Cable TV plans to put up the price of its subscriptions next year before the opening of the football World Cup in South Africa, which it will broadcast exclusively.

'It is not yet known when this will be implemented and how much more we will charge, but it is also subject to the economic situation next year,' the pay-TV operator's subscription services vice-president, Vincent Cheung, said.

He said customers now signing up for the basic HK$239 package, which includes more than 60 channels including sports and high definition sports channels, could also watch the cup matches.

Next year's World Cup will be held at 10 different venues in South Africa between June 11 and July 11, with 32 teams competing in the tournament. The games will kick off at 7.30pm, 10.30pm and 2.30am Hong Kong time. Some matches are expected to be available on TVB and ATV.

During the previous World Cup, four matches were aired on TVB and ATV. The two stations said they had jointly written to Cable TV to negotiate the details of the arrangements, but it was not yet known which and how many matches would be shown by the two terrestrial broadcasters.

Cable TV has more than 900,000 subscribers and with the World Cup coming, Cheung said the company was confident it could reach 1 million next year. The pay-TV operator has been changing subscribers' set-top boxes since March and the process is expected to be completed this month. Cheung said the new set-top boxes were much more secure, meaning the widespread pirate viewing seen during the last World Cup was unlikely to be repeated.