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TVB Network Vision surrenders pay TV licence

TVB Network Vision (TVBNV) has informed the government and the Communications Authority of its decision to surrender the Domestic Pay TV Programme Service Licence.

Rampant online piracy, proliferation of OTT services and downturn of Hong Kong’s economy in recent years are reasons for discontinuing the pay TV business.

“Since launching on 18 February 2004, the pay TV service has been operating in the red. The accumulated losses over the years run into more than $2.2 billion. TVBNV has tried every effort to keep the service going despite difficulties. But the deteriorating business and operating environment in recent years have rendered the pay TV business not commercially viable,” a TVBNV spokesman said.

“The proliferation of OTT services is competing for eyeballs and advertisers. OTT service providers, however, are not subject to the stringent regulatory provisions in the same way as we are under the Broadcasting Ordinance. The weak economic outlook and continued falling retail sales have resulted in significant drop in advertising revenue.” He added.

Special packages are being offered to existing TVBNV subscribers to migrate to the newly launched myTV SUPER, the users of which have now exceeded 2.3 million. TVBNV subscriptions will not be renewed on expiry and the pay TV service will be curtailed once surrender of the licence is accepted by the government.