A TVB executive who was once asked why the company did not bid for Who Wants to be a Millionaire? replied that an Anglo-centric quiz show would not catch on in Hong Kong. Now the station has had to eat its words and watch rival ATV's revenues grow 40 to 50 per cent on the back of the show. Advertisers have to pay three times as much as in the past for slots aired during the hit show, according to the station. The most recent ratings, for August 6-10, show a peak of 1.78 million viewers, with an average audience of 1.46 million. TVB assistant general manager Cheong Shin-keong said the company believed the total prime time audience would rise with the arrival of new offering The Weakest Link, taking some viewers from Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Both shows are aimed at a general prime time audience, with an emphasis on those aged 25 to 34. Mr Cheong said advertisers' response to TVB's new show had been tremendous, with Wellcome supermarkets the lead sponsor. 'I'm rushing back to the office to hold a meeting to resolve a conflict between several advertisers who want the same thing in relation to this show,' he said. Mr Cheong said the show had the potential to earn about $1.8 million per episode in advertising. He said the advertising packages for the 50 shows would be worth about $90 million to the company. But other reports have said TVB is charging advertisers as much as $988,000 for a 30-second slot on The Weakest Link, compared with $673,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The ATV show is reportedly charging more than The Weakest Link for shorter 10-second slots. An ATV spokesman said the station was confident it would withstand the competition. 'We have got a very good reputation. We have met the expectation of the audience so we're confident of keeping this popular,' he said.