SCED speaks to media on non-renewal of ATV's licence
Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at a media session on the non-renewal of Asia Television Limited's (ATV) domestic free television programme service licence today (April 4):
Reporter: Mr So, with the Director of ATV saying the other day that ATV could only perhaps run for another three or four months, what can the Government do to make sure that quality free-to-air TV choices still available to the Hong Kong public? What point will you invite other people to apply for this fresh licence to take over from ATV?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: Actually, licence application is open and the market is open. Anybody interested in operating free television services could apply for the licence even now. You don't have to wait. The market is open already. With respect to whether ATV could continue to operate, I believe the Communications Authority will liaise with them very closely. They are now still the licence holder until April 1, 2016. They are required under the (Broadcasting) Ordinance as well as licence conditions to maintain a level of service that they have committed. Therefore, we will handle this in accordance with the law and the obligation. Of course, if they really cannot continue to operate, they could consider surrendering the licence. Then there will be another procedure for that to happen. There are many options open. I believe all have the interest of Hong Kong people in mind. As you can see, in order to have choices provided for people, even in the analogue market, we have already invited RTHK to have some of these programme contents they run in digital format to be aired in analogue format so that people will have more choices.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, April 4, 2015