Major Speeches, Presentations and Press Releases



LCQ3: Renewal of analogue sound broadcasting licences

     Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, in the Legislative Council today (February 17):

Question:

     In 2003, the analogue sound broadcasting licences of Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company Limited (CRHK) and Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited (Metro) were renewed for a validity period of 12 years from August 26, 2004 to August 25, 2016 (both dates inclusive). It has been reported that CRHK and Metro submitted applications for renewal of their licences in July and August 2014 respectively. It is now less than seven months away from the expiry date of those licences, but the authorities have not yet announced the relevant application outcome. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) given that section 13E of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106) provides that not less than 15 months before the date for any renewal of a licence or such shorter period as Chief Executive in Council may permit, the Communications Authority (CA) shall submit recommendations to Chief Executive in Council concerning the renewal of the licence and the terms and conditions to be imposed, whether CA has submitted its recommendations concerning the renewal of the two licensees' licences; if it has not, of the reasons for that;

(2) given that the aforesaid provision also provides that notice of a decision to refuse to renew a licence (Refusal Notice) shall be given to the licensee concerned at least 12 months prior to the relevant date for renewal of the licence, and the authorities have not yet given any Refusal Notice to the two licensees when it is now less than seven months away from the expiry date of the aforesaid licences, whether this situation reflects that the authorities have no intention to refuse the renewal of the two licensees' licences; if it does not, of the reasons for that; and

(3) whether the authorities will expeditiously announce their decisions on the renewal or otherwise of the two licensees' licences, so that they can make early preparation?

Reply:

President,

     Section 13E of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106) (TO) stipulates that not less than 15 months before the date for any renewal of a sound broadcasting licence or such shorter period as the Chief Executive in Council may permit, the Communications Authority (CA) shall submit recommendations to the Chief Executive in Council concerning the renewal of the licence and the terms and conditions to be imposed. The Chief Executive in Council will consider the CA's recommendations and all relevant factors in accordance with the TO and established procedures before making a decision on each sound broadcasting licence renewal application.

     Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company Limited and Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited submitted their analogue sound broadcasting licence renewal applications (the Licence Renewal Applications) to the CA on July 31, 2014 and August 25, 2014 respectively.

     My reply to the three-part question is as follows:

(1) The CA submitted its recommendations on the Licence Renewal Applications to the Chief Executive in Council in accordance with the TO on May 15, 2015.

(2) & (3) As mentioned above, the Chief Executive in Council will consider the CA's recommendations and all relevant factors in accordance with the TO and established procedures before making decisions on the Licence Renewal Applications. The Chief Executive in Council has been processing the Licence Renewal Applications in accordance with the TO and established procedures without delay, and will make the final decisions as soon as possible. Ends/Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:01