The Government has renewed Star TV's satellite uplink and downlink licence, allowing it to broadcast from Hong Kong for another six years. The move follows an intensive mid-term review of the franchise and the performance of the licencee, Hutchvision. The licence will now last until 2002. Among amendments to the licence is a clause allowing Star's free-to-air programming to be picked up and retransmitted to Hong Kong viewers by Satellite Master Antenna Television operators. The new copyright law would have made retransmitting programmes in this way illegal. Star TV chief executive Gary Davey said the renewal of the licence was an important reassurance in committing to Hong Kong as a long term home base. 'Over the past few years we have invested heavily in the territory, building a state-of-the-art uplink centre and developed infrastructure for our core operations,' he said. 'We will continue with this commitment to Hong Kong beyond the millennium.' A second amendment to the licence is that Hutchvision will now be required to pay an annual full cost-recovery licence fee of $4.3 million, phased in over five years. Previously, it paid an annual licence fee of $46,000 plus a service origination charge of $5.18 million. The origination charge will now be waived. Mr Davey said Star TV objected to the implementation of the full cost licence recovery mechanism. He urged the Government to rethink the policy as part of the 1998 broadcasting review, warning of the effect it could have on Hong Kong's role as a media hub for the region.