City Telecom pushes ahead with multimedia centre without free-to-air licence

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2012, 2:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2012, 2:13pm

City Telecom’s chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay says he will push ahead with building a multimedia centre in Tseung Kwan O even though he has yet to get the related free-to-air TV licence.

The tendering period for construction bids on the 400,000 sq ft centre, estimated to cost HK$600 million, will end this month, Wong said on Metro Radio programme on Tuesday morning. Building is scheduled to start in January.

“We will continue to go forward,” he said, adding that a poll released by the University of Hong Kong yesterday found 85 per cent of Hongkongers want a new free-to-air TV station.

The lack of competition in the TV sector has dragged down both the quality of programming and veterans’ salaries, he said.

At the well-established TVB broadcaster, profit has risen from HK$500 million to HK$1.5 billion in about 15 years while directors’ salaries have remained at little more than HK$20,000, he said.

City Telecom applied for a free-to-air television licence in December 2009, and Wong has recently launched high-profile criticisms of the government for the long delay in processing the application.