Allow more competition to make Hong Kong television great again

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 January, 2016, 5:24pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 January, 2016, 5:24pm

I refer to Kelly Yang’s column, “Netflix: great for Hong Kong viewers, not so good for home-grown talent” (January 13). In the article, she says having locally produced television content will help to keep our culture alive for the next generation of Hong Kong children. I agree. I think that the lack of high-quality local television programmes is due to the uncompetitive television industry and too much focus on electronic devices.

Locally produced TV programmes document Hong Kong life and the changes in society over the years. We have had a lot of great TV shows, like the variety programme Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Watching them now brings back sweet memories. Today, however, we can hardly find a meaningful TV show to watch. Although internet streaming media like Netflix offer a wide array of shows and can broaden our horizons, locally produced TV shows are irreplaceable.

There isn’t enough competition in local television. With ATV’s licence expiring soon, we basically have only one free-to-air television channel producing local programmes. TVB will be under no pressure to come up with better ideas. Just look at the TV shows we’ve had in the last few years: many are copied from successful shows in other countries, and some are truly senseless.

The other reason for the low quality is that more people are now watching foreign shows like Korean dramas on mobile phones and other electronic devices. It’s a vicious circle: with fewer viewers, TV producers are less motivated to make great local shows, and when the quality of local programmes falls even further, more people turn to watching shows from abroad.

We must not let our unique Hong Kong TV shows disappear. If this does happen, it will be a huge loss to our future generations. This will contribute to the disappearance of Hong Kong culture.

Linda Ng Lai Yin, Kwai Fong