Next Media was founded by high profile businessman Jimmy Lai, known for his support for democracy and criticism of China. It introduced tabloid-style journalism into Hong Kong and Taiwan, with the hugely successful Apple Daily. The group made a rare misstep by entering Taiwan’s saturated broadcasting market. In October 2012 it agreed to sell its loss-making Taiwan TV unit and to terminate its video-on-demand (VOD) services, but the deal fell through in March 2013.
Angry TVB bans Next Media publications from station events
TVB has banned Next Media from its press conferences and promotional events because of its "biased reports" on the free-to-air TV licence saga and the station's anniversary gala.
It is believed to be the first listed media company to try to stop another media firm from doing interviews and stories.
In an internal notice issued by the company's corporate communication department, the safety and security unit was instructed to bar reporters from Next Media from TVB buildings.
It read: "Next Media's publications have been targeting TVB over the free-to-air licence saga and made inaccurate reports. The decision over issuing free-to-air TV licences lies in the hands of the government and has nothing to do with the company.
"Next Media has been attacking and vilifying our company, without grounds, and has gone far beyond the appropriate journalism ethics a media corporation should uphold."
The station and its artists would also not accept interviews by Next Media journalists from yesterday, the notice added.
The decision affects reporters from four of Next Media's publications - Apple Daily, Next Magazine, Sudden Weekly and FACE.
Apple Daily editor Cheung Kim-hung expressed his regret over TVB's decision, but denied accusations of false reporting, attacking and vilifying the station.
"The paper has long been concerned about justice relating to the free-to-air TV licence issue and making truthful reports. It is regrettable we have been accused and boycotted," he said.
Hong Kong Journalists Association said TVB was meddling with press freedom and setting a bad example. It urged the station to think twice about its action.