DBC, Metro and Phoenix U granted sound broadcasting licences
The Government announced today (March 24) that the Chief Executive in Council (CE-in-Council) has granted Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited (DBC) (formerly known as Wave Media Limited), Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited (Metro) and Phoenix U Radio Limited (Phoenix U) sound broadcasting licences to provide digital audio broadcasting (DAB) services in Hong Kong.
The licences will be valid for 12 years, subject to a mid-term review six years after the licence grant date. The licences contain terms and conditions similar to those of the existing analogue licences, with specific provisions relevant to DAB services and individual licensees. Further information is available on the website (www.cedb.gov.hk/ctb/eng/new/index.htm).
The licensees are required under their licences to commence service within 18 months following the licence grant date. They shall provide 24-hour DAB services comprising 13 programme channels (three each for Metro and Phoenix U and seven for DBC) with a wide variety of programmes. Prior to the launch of full services, they may provide a "soft-launch" service, in the form of musical broadcasting, simulcasts of existing AM/FM analogue services or by broadcasting parts of their formal services to be provided. The licensees have indicated that they will commence their services by the end of this year at the earliest. Summary of DAB services to be provided by the licensees is at the Annex.
A spokesman said that the launch of the DAB service will mark a new era of broadcasting development in Hong Kong and provide a novel experience for radio listeners. Apart from providing better sound quality, more stable reception and a greater diversity of programmes than analogue radio service, DAB also supports the transmission of visual images (ancillary visual service) to the screens of DAB receivers. Listeners with suitable DAB receivers will be able to watch on the screens of the receivers various matters like news, weather and traffic information, photos of singers and information about the songs broadcast, etc.
The spokesman added that the CE-in-Council has also approved DBC's application to surrender its existing licence for providing AM radio service. DBC would focus on delivering DAB services.
Thursday, March 24, 2011