I-Cable Communications is planning double-digit increases in advertising rates next year. The pay-television operator's decision follows reports that Asia Television, Hong Kong's second-largest free-to-air television company, will keep its advertising rates unchanged next year. I-Cable chief executive Stephen Ng Tin-hoi said the company raised subscriber rates 12 per cent so far this year, recently passing the 500,000 mark. Mr Ng believes i-Cable's advertising revenue could rise 60 per cent this year. Last year, advertising made up less than 10 per cent of i-Cable's HK$1.34 billion revenue. He expects revenue to rise more than 20 per cent this year, with growth accelerating in the second half thanks to contributions from its broadband service which has about 30,000 subscribers. In an effort to expand revenue, i-Cable has created a separate subsidiary - Global Media In Force - to handle advertising, licensing and e-commerce operations. From next year, Global Media - which had revenue of less than HK$100 million last year - will act as exclusive sales distributor of i-Cable's advertising airtime and will handle international programme licensing. Global Media is also setting up an Internet portal, globalMIF.com, to serve as an e-marketplace for its television advertisers. Global Media chief operating officer Samuel Tsang said clients placing advertisements on Cable TV would also receive online advertising. 'We aim to become the No 1 shopping directory in Hong Kong,' Mr Tsang said. He said the Web site, which has more than 300 merchandisers, was in talks with several application service providers.