Failed pay-television licence bidders will get a second chance if they can solve the technical problems that dogged their first application attempts last October, according to a government official. Speaking at the launch of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Elec & Eltek International technology centre yesterday, Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai, Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, said the Government would reconsider granting licences to failed bidders if they could convince the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau that they had solved their technical difficulties and if they exhibited viable technological backing in providing pay-TV services. Earlier this month, the Government granted five licences to pay-TV operators, while the remaining four bidders - Mei Ah Cable TV Corp, Popculture (Asia), Win's Prosperity Digital Network, and Turner International Asia Pacific - failed. It is unknown whether the four plan to re-apply. However, the Government had said it would set no limit on the number of pay-TV licences to be issued and the awarding of them would depend on the applicant's merit. Ms Yau said the Government is now finalising the details of the contracts with the five successful applicants and is expected to issue the licences within two to three months. The licences will allow the pay-TV operators to launch 149 TV channels to local viewers in six to 18 months, creating 1,000 jobs with a total investment of HK$700 million. The licences went to TVB subsidiary Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting; Hong Kong DTV, a subsidiary of Star TV; Hong Kong Network Television, owned by Internet content provider Sino-i.com; Elmsdale, a British firm that owns Yes Television; and Pacific Digital Media (HK), a Taiwan-backed company. Galaxy, DTV and Pacific Digital will distribute via satellite, and the other two via broadband cable. Also speaking at the launch was Peter Chan, chief executive of Elec & Eltek, who said the aim of the CUHK and Elec & Eltek centre was to promote innovative technologies and identify viable ventures derived from such technologies. He said the joint venture would focus on business-to-business electronic commerce ventures. Initial investment for the technology centre would require about HK$32 million, and is expected to gradually top up to HK$100 million. The technology centre will begin by investing in various projects, including a horizontal business-to-business electronic commerce trading platforms, multilingual associated search engines and multilingual speech generation and recognition technologies.