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Cable TV hit by marital blitz

PEOPLE have been cancelling their subscriptions to Wharf Cable TV because of marital disputes and lack of time to watch the programmes.

The company's marketing manager, Max Ho, said some of the 400 people who had not renewed their monthly subscriptions had claimed that having the extra eight TV channels had caused too much domestic friction.

''Perhaps the husband decided to buy our service, and then the wife found that he did not have enough time for the family; or perhaps there were arguments about what programme to watch,'' Mr Ho said.

In a survey of all the reasons for cancellations since these started being processed in December, about 20 per cent of people had handed back their decoders after deciding they did not have enough time to watch TV.

About the same proportion cancelled the service because they were moving home.

Mr Ho said ''only about one per cent'' had complained that the $198 monthly fee was too high.


Wharf Cable will start transmitting to Hong Kong Island later this week.

And while the marketing drive to find customers for the eight-channel service will not begin on the island until next month, Wharf Cable managing director Stephen Ng Tin-hoi said some Hong Kong-side buildings were almost ready to receive the cable service - including his own apartment block in Jardine's Lookout.

He said the company would continue the marketing strategy that had already linked up more than 30,000 subscribers in Kowloon and the New Territories, and concentrate on selling to the densely packed housing estate areas, which had already been wired up for Wharf Cable TV.

''We will be selling first to Taikoo Shing and Kornhill, before transferring our attention, which will happen in the second half of this year,'' Mr Ng said.


More than 300,000 households in the territory are already wired up for cable TV, meaning that only a decoder is needed for connection to the service.

Current company estimates suggest that by the end of the year, 1.2 million households throughout Hong Kong will be technically able to connect to Wharf, and that a total of 13 microwave signal transmitters will be active.