• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm
NewsHong Kong
BROADCASTING

Ricky Wong plans court action as HKTV plans hit 'dead end'

Ofca tells HKTV that it has to get a domestic free-to-view or pay-TV licence first before launching new mobile TV service

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 6:51pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 9:49am

The entrepreneur who revolutionalised Hong Kong's telecom market says the government has pushed him to a dead end after it repeatedly blocked him from entering the television market.

Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV) chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay said yesterday he would take the battle to court after the government cited legal reasons to stop him from launching a mobile television service on July 1.

"This is a laughable and violent move," Wong said. "The Hong Kong government has stopped us from realising our dreams again and again. We have reached a dead end. We just want to make good TV. Do 'you' have to go this far?"

He was speaking after the Office of the Communications Authority (Ofca) told HKTV that unless it limited its audience to 5,000 households or fewer it would have to apply for a free or pay television licence under the Broadcasting Ordinance.

"I'm left with no choice but to postpone the HKTV launch and suspend production of new programmes," Wong said.

"It's ridiculous ... more fictional than fiction," Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching said.

HKTV's application for a free-to-air television licence was rejected without a convincing explanation last October after a three-year wait. It caused public outrage with tens of thousands mounting a week-long rally outside government headquarters.

Watch: HKTV supporters gather at Hong Kong government to protest against failed licence last November

HKTV pressed ahead with plans for a mobile service in December after acquiring China Mobile Hong Kong Corporation for HK$142 million along with its mobile television licence.

Wong said Ofca had not stopped the previous owner from operating a mobile service and he could not see the grounds for Ofca's latest stance.

Wong has spent more than HK$1 billion on his television plan but said he had no plans for layoffs among his 300 HKTV staff. He denied he was negotiating a deal with ATV.

Wong, who attended last Sunday's media-freedom protest after the attack on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to, refused to say whether he had offended anyone that might have led to the government's determination to stop the launch of HKTV. "I'm just a businessman. I have no plans to offend anyone. Today's Hong Kong is no longer the Hong Kong I used to know. We are now in the state of terror."

 

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This article is now closed to comments

SpeakFreely
Welcome to the "freest economy in the world".
Sugelanren
The noose tightens around Hong Kong. Very slowly, day by day we lose our freedoms. 2047 will be here soon.
daily
Looks like "Ricky the man" got screwed again.
SpeakFreely
Will they ban You Tube soon?
blue
"Danny Lau Kwong-cheung, the authority’s deputy director general, said on Wednesday HKTV wanted to change its transmission standards from China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting (CMMB) to Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcasting (DTMA). CMMB is a standard solely for mobile TV, but DTMA is used also by free-to-air stations TVB and ATV in broadcasting."

It seems a lot of commenters here totally missed the point. Ricky Wong doesn't need to buy an overseas company if he wants to stream his programs over the Internet. He can already do that.

Ricky Wong can also use his existing mobile tv license and company that he paid 142 million for ("China Mobile Corporation"), but only if he uses the CMMB or European mobile TV standards. But Ricky Wong wanted to use DTMA instead. The Communications Authority barred him from using DTMA unless he gets a free to air or pay tv license.

I think the reason Ricky Wong wants to use DTMA is so that he can offer set top boxes and stream his services to homes through some sort of an Intranet rather than via the public Internet. Additionally he wanted to use DTMA over mobile phones because CMMB's quality is complete garbage.

HK isn't going to ban you tube either. The level of misinformation floating around is staggering.

I do hope Ricky Wong will be successful in the end though.
ps.p.rev1
"Today's Hong Kong is no longer the Hong Kong I used to know."
2047 is much closer than we thought.
We are no longer frog in hot water anymore, that time has passed; we are already dead.
dead2k1
I believe that is what they're describing as his "mobile" service. The issue here I believe is how come China mobile was allowed to operate a mobile service under the same conditions, whereas HKTV has been told they need to apply for new licenses.
ianson
The CCP are rubbing their hands in glee. This ordinance provides the means for perfect control of propaganda distribution and crushing dissent.
Dai Muff
By the same standard my Apple TV should be illegal. It is a set top box through which I can view not only youtube videos but also podcasts.
aplucky1
so he paid a 142 million for a company with a tv license that he CANNOT USE !
hahahaha

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