LCQ16: Programming arrangements of RTHK TV channels
Following is a question by the Hon Luk Chung-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, in the Legislative Council today (April 26):
The digital terrestrial television channel RTHK TV 33 (TV 33) and the analogue television channel RTHK 33A (TV 33A) of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) currently relay the English-language programmes of the China Global Television Network Documentary Channel (Documentary Channel) of the China Central Television (CCTV) free of charge throughout the broadcasting hours. Some members of the public have suggested that RTHK relay the more diversified programmes of CCTV Comprehensive Channel, so as to provide them with more choices of television programmes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the factors considered by RTHK in deciding that TV 33 and TV 33A should relay, throughout the broadcasting hours, the programmes of the Documentary Channel but not those of other CCTV channels; and
(2) whether RTHK would consider the aforesaid suggestion so as to allow members of the public to watch the programmes of CCTV Comprehensive Channel free of charge through its digital terrestrial television channels and analogue television channels; if so, of the details, including the preparatory work which needs to be undertaken; if not, the reasons for that?
My reply to the two-part question is as follows:
(1) Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) launched its digital television (digital TV) service in January 2014 and relays China Global Television Network Documentary Channel (CGTN Documentary) of the China Central Television (CCTV) on its digital TV channel RTHK TV 33. Such a programming arrangement was made after discussion with CCTV. Starting from April 2, 2016, RTHK also simulcasts the programmes on its analogue television channel RTHK TV 33A. CGTN Documentary is a television channel featuring mainly documentaries, providing its audience with diversified art and culture programme choices by screening round-the-clock documentaries of different genres (including humanities and geography, life in China, travel and exploration, history, etc.). Providing for the relay of national broadcasting is in line with the purposes of RTHK as the public service broadcaster as stipulated in the Charter of RTHK, as well as the objectives in relation to the programming of television services.
(2) As mentioned above, RTHK has to discuss the specific arrangements with the relevant television station before relaying any Mainland television channel on RTHK TV 33 and RTHK TV 33A. The channel selected should also be in line with the functions and positioning of RTHK as the public service broadcaster as stipulated in the Charter of RTHK.
Ends/Wednesday, April 26, 2017