The Broadcasting Authority has allowed pay-television licensee Pacific Digital Media to postpone its service roll-out for a year. Broadcasting Authority chairman Norman Leung Nai-pang said yesterday that the authority had approved Pacific Digital Media's application to postpone its launch on the grounds that its parent company had experienced a delay in a merger plan. Taiwanese Pacific Digital Media, due to launch 20 channels by February 23, would only launch two channels that day - a religion channel, Tze Chi, and an entertainment channel, ETTV International. The number of channels would gradually increase to 10 after six months and reach 20 by next February, according to Mr Leung. Pacific Digital Media has promised the Broadcasting Authority that about 20,000 households would be able to receive its services through satellite. The licensee missed its first deadline last August and faced a HK$500,000 fine for the delay. However, the Broadcasting Authority would only penalise Pacific Digital Media for its second launch delay if it failed to meet the milestones of its new schedule, Mr Leung said. Last August, the authority called HK$500,000 from Pacific Digital Media's performance bond for failing to comply with the August 23 deadline. Pacific Digital Media is one of the three remaining new pay-television entrants, the others being Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting and Yes Television Asia (Yes TV). Mr Leung said Yes TV's launch schedule remained intact and it would launch six new channels as planned. Due to Pacific Digital Media's delay in its launching plan, Hong Kong television viewers will have only up to eight new channels to choose from by next month, a substantial reduction from the original 26 channels.