Reruns 'were to meet viewer needs'
Asia Television has been using the long hours worked by Hongkongers as an excuse for rerunning its programmes several times a day, a Communications Authority report showed.
The authority, which oversees the broadcasting and telecommunications industries, conducted a public engagement exercise to gauge views on the ATV and TVB free-to-air broadcasters between February and May.
It released a summary of public comments and the stations' responses yesterday.
Among the 7,600 written submissions received, a significant number wanted ATV to provide more locally-produced programmes and to reduce the number of reruns - some programmes were broadcast four times a day.
In the face of this criticism, ATV told the watchdog that it arranged the reruns out of goodwill: "Due to the trend of prolonged working hours in recent years, many viewers would have missed the programmes scheduled during prime time when they are still at work. They may wish to have a chance to watch these programmes after work."
As viewers did not seem to appreciate this move, the station had made changes.
Starting in July, the repeats of some programmes had been reduced. Current affairs programme Blog the World and artist training show Performance Training Project Highlights on the Chinese-language Home channel had been cut from four to three times a day.
The station also cut its serial dramas between 7.30pm and 10.30pm from three in 2010 to one, to satisfy demands for more current affairs and infotainment programmes.
Compared with ATV, rival TVB received more positive reviews. However, the audience was also concerned about the quality of its game shows and dramas, which some said were in bad taste and some said targeted only housewives. There were also too many cooking and lifestyle programmes, which encouraged luxury living.
TVB defended itself, saying that some game shows, such as the Super Trio series under fire, were designed purely to provide entertainment.
It never intended to advocate an undesirable lifestyle in food programmes, it added.
The shows were not only about food, but also incorporated travel documentaries and celebrities sharing their career or life experiences.
Both ATV and TVB's TV licences expire in November, 2015. Renewal is subject to the authority's review.