TVB fined over programme that misled public over HKTV

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2014, 4:19am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2014, 4:19am

TVB has been fined HK$50,000 over a programme that was "partial" and "misleading" about the free-to-air licence applicant Hong Kong Television Network.

The programme Scoop prompted more than 27,000 complaints from the public, according to the Communications Authority, which warned TVB to "observe more closely" the TV Programme Code.

The television station said it would lodge an appeal to the Chief Executive in Council.

The programme, which discussed the granting of free-to-air television licences, aired on the TVB Jade and HD Jade channels on November 5 last year and on the Encore Channel of TVB Network Vision the next day.

Complainants said that Scoop was partial, misleading, inaccurate, and that it distorted and concealed facts. They complained it was unfair to HKTV, which was not given an opportunity to respond.

HKTV was denied a free-to-air television licence in October, while applicants PCCW and i-Cable were granted licences.

The authority found that the programme had contravened the TV Programme Code.

"The programme did not present the topic of the granting of free TV licences with due impartiality by seeking balance," said the authority.

"It was slanted by the concealment of facts or by misleading emphasis" in comparing the three applicants and "its overall presentation had a cumulative effect of projecting a biased impression against HKTV".