The Government yesterday sought to clear up confusion over whether the on-line video service being studied by a consortium including film distributor Mei Ah International would need a licence. Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan, deputy secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, said the new service provider would have to secure either a programme service licence or a subscription television licence. Mei Ah earlier had claimed the new service - in which New World Development, Hanny Holdings and Win's Movie Investment are also involved - did not fall within the Government's licensing requirements. Mrs Lau said the new service fell within the meaning of 'broadcasting' in the Television (Amendment) Bill due to have its second reading in the Legislative Council on March 19. She said once the amendment bill was enacted, the term 'broadcasting' would include the provision of TV programmes, including films available to two or more homes or the general public by means of point-to-point terrestrial telecommunication on payment of a subscription. The four companies announced on Monday they were assessing the feasibility of such a service, which would be similar to closed-circuit pay TV available in hotels. Li Kwo-hsing, chairman of Mei Ah - the largest shareholder in the consortium - said it would decide which licence to apply for next month when it conducted the study. If the consortium failed to secure a licence, Mr Li said there were several alternatives but he refused to disclose them. 'What I can say is something like closed-circuit pay TV is one of the considerations,' he said. Mei Ah was heavily traded yesterday, with more than 529 million shares worth $312.55 million changing hands.