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  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 3:03pm
NewsHong Kong

Filmmakers blast rejection of HKTV free-to-air licence

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 6:57am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 9:26am

Hong Kong's filmmaking elite yesterday condemned the decision to reject HKTV's bid for a free-to-air television licence, saying it could sound the death knell for creative industries in the city.

It came ahead of a protest today over the decision that may see thousands take to the streets.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan confirmed she was two votes away from the support needed to invoke the Legislative Council's Powers and Privileges Ordinance at a Legco meeting on November 8 to access key documents related to the decision. They included minutes of Executive Council meetings and consultant reports.

Ho said she wanted to clarify reports indicating that the proper process may not have been followed.

At a media briefing yesterday, 10 guilds representing more than 1,000 industry professionals denounced the licence decision, saying it would kill off any hope of a revival of the city's television industry. They said TV was where the great film directors, actors and technical staff got their start.

Adding to their criticism of the government's move to knock back Hong Kong Television Network's bid, they said more competition was needed to shake up the industry, which lags five to seven years behind other places.

"We have grave concerns that Hong Kong's TV and creative industries will be forced down the path of regression," Hong Kong Directors Guild president Derek Yee Tung-sing said. "Who do those executive councillors think they are? How can they refuse to give an explanation?"

The guild's honorary president, Ng See-yuen, said he was disappointed that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had failed to keep his pre-election promise to support the creative industries.

Meanwhile, Ricky Wong Wai-kay, chairman of HKTV, told RTHK more about the approach he received from a government official in 2009 to lodge a bid for a licence.

"It was something more than an invitation" to apply for a licence, he said, adding that the details of this would be revealed in court.

He said he had not yet applied for a judicial review but once he did, the licences granted to iCable's Fantastic TV and PCCW's Hong Kong Television Entertainment Company could be delayed.

Three groups will converge on the government headquarters at Tamar, Admiralty, today to demand an explanation.

Free TV Action will begin its protest march to Tamar from Causeway Bay at 3pm.

Political commentator Ivan Choy Chi-keung said the issue could turn into a headache for the government like the mass rallies last year prompted by the proposed introduction of a national education curriculum.


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This article is now closed to comments

I am a old man in usa when read the news I fell sorry some of people against and attack government . when you to apply a license your Q gave it to if your not Q you can not get it.that is all no big thing . why some of hkonger so sad. go to parade just go go nothing to do.my god?
Don't understand why our CE could not do anything that is right. If he wanted to reject an application such as this, which the Exco is empowered to do, then it could all have been done diplomatically, and be respected. Instead everything is done the wrong way. He is not a politician, or a diplomat. He is after all what he is called, only an executive or an administrator.
And to the old man in the US. I wonder how someone who is living in the land that permits protests would complain about protests in HK. It is self-contradictory and suspicious.
Readers should remember that our ultra-cheap international dialing charges progressively since the mid-1990s were due to Ricky Wong being an entrepreneurial pain in the Administrtion's butt and being the first in shaking up a cozy Telecoms industrynto all Hongkongers' benefit. He's just trying to do the same again with Broadcast TV. He has also put his money where his mouth is and invested heavily in building a platform to revive the creative tradition of great Hong Kong film and TV. Sure, he's trodden on a lot of toes and egos.....that's what entrepreneurs do.
What a lame excuse they give and such a double standard handling this type of important licence .
Come on people..........Ricky Wong is a pain in the butt to the government and has his own personal agenda behind the license application...........don't just read the surface..........there is more behind this crooked guy.
yes lets burn down the city, the filthy rich ricky wong and all his little narcissistic sycophants did not get their way
this is the end of hong kong as we know it-yawn
Nothing but wumao, go burn in hell


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