Wharf Cable should be allowed to apply for a domestic free television licence, the company's chairman and managing director, Stephen Ng Tin-hoi, said yesterday. At present, the Television Ordinance prohibits a broadcaster from having more than 15 per cent share of another television operator. Mr Ng said all broadcasters, except the dominant player - Television Broadcasts (TVB) - should be allowed to have more than one television licence. He said Wharf was now available to 1.6 million households. If it was allowed to provide a free television service, it could provide one or two channels free to its customers immediately. Mr Ng told yesterday's Legislative Council information, technology and broadcasting panel meeting that the Government's television policy review failed to address the dominance of TVB. The past seven years had shown that simply issuing more licences could not introduce more competition into the market. TVB still had a 75 to 80 per cent market share after the launch of STAR TV and Wharf Cable, he said. Mr Ng also suggested requiring broadcasters to set aside certain hours to carry programmes produced by others. Asia Television acting chief executive officer Kenneth Kwok Wai-kin said there should be 'simple but effective rules' to prevent dominant players from becoming more powerful. However, TVB assistant general manager Ray Wong disagreed that the station was a monopoly or that it monopolised local actors and producers. He said it believed in a free economy and that people worked for a fair compensation. Mr Wong said TVB supported total deregulation as long as everybody was on a level playing field.