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Hong Kong temporarily eases free TV broadcast requirements

Hong Kong’s Communications Authority has temporarily relaxed the programme broadcast requirements for local free-to-air TV operators after an application by broadcaster TVB.

The authority said requirements relating to documentaries, currents affairs programmes and arts and culture shows, as well as showing a certain number of hours of “positive programmes”, were being eased for three months from 25 March.

TVB, one of three free-to-air broadcasters in Hong Kong, had asked for the requirements to be relaxed because of the continuing impact of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The Communications Authority said it had received an application from TVB on 9 March for waiving the “wholly of Hong Kong origin” and the “first-run” requirements relating to some programmes.

The authority said the number of hours a broadcaster must show positive programmes would remain unchanged but the requirement that they all be first-run programmes was being eased, with some repeat showings being allowed.

Hong Kong’s other two free TV operators are HK Television Entertainment Company Limited and Fantastic Television Limited.