ATV slapped with HK$260,000 fine for biased broadcast

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 4:29am

ATV has been hit with fines totalling HK$260,000 for breaches of broadcasting codes, mostly for biased programmes on the issuing of new free-to-air television licences that the station opposes.

The breaches included a show filmed outside the government's Tamar headquarters on November 11, for which ATV was fined HK$50,000. It featured key investor Wang Zheng dancing.

The Communications Authority, which received 2,200 complaints about the show, regarded it as a "personal view programme". The show breached multiple provisions of the television programme code by failing to preserve impartiality on the licence issue, and also gave a misleading representation of a study on its audience share with rival TVB, the authority said.

The station was fined HK$50,000 for similar breaches in its ATV Focus programme broadcast on November 8, 11, 12, 22, 26, 27, and December 5.

It was fined a further HK$50,000 for airing advertising material immediately after a news report on November 24.

The authority said the material, containing remarks by the station's executive director opposing new licences, breached the Generic Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards.

ATV Focus broadcasts on September 12, October 22 and 23 also drew a HK$50,000 penalty for similar breaches of the code.

A HK$60,000 penalty was imposed for a September 16 travel programme that breached provisions governing indirect advertising in programmes.

An ATV spokesman said the station was studying the judgment. It insisted the station had done nothing wrong in the way it presented data on its audience share as researched by the University of Hong Kong.