The head of i-Cable Communications said he empathised with Hong Kong Television chief Ricky Wong Wai-kay's quest for a judicial review over the government's decision to reject his bid for a free-to-air television licence.
But Stephen Ng Tin-hoi said yesterday he hoped the legal matters would not affect the government's processing of new licences granted in principle earlier this month to his company's Fantastic TV. Another licence was granted to PCCW's HK Television Entertainment Company.
"I hope legal proceedings will not slow down the [licensing] proceedings. Hong Kong people have been waiting for so long already," said Ng speaking to media for the first time since the government's decision to issue new free-to-air licences to just two of the three applicants.
Wong's HKTV was the only station denied a licence on October 15, sparking a public outcry and more than a week of protests.
Commerce secretary Greg So Kam-leung said the Executive Council had deliberated and the market could only support two more free-to-air channels.
Ng said seeking a judicial review was the "right approach under the circumstances" for Wong.
"How he chose to seek justice, I can completely understand," said Ng, adding that it was not his place to comment on why the Executive Council made the decision. "We should wait for results of the judicial review."
Ng said Fantastic TV could be up and running within three months after getting its licence, and would air news, entertainment and sports programmes, but not TV dramas at present.
Ten HKTV workers remained camped outside the government offices yesterday, despite most of the staff ending their week-long protest on Saturday.
Horatio Tsoi Kam-yuen, a senior producer at HKTV, said he would stay until November 6 when pan-democrat lawmakers - for a second time - try to invoke the Legislative Council powers to order an investigation into the decision to deny the station a licence.
The first motion was defeated in the legislature on Friday.
Several pan-democrats also rallied outside the government offices to urge lawmakers to "vote with a conscience".