Date
17 December 2017
The cost of broadcast rights for the FIFA World Cup and related content has put a pressure on TVB’s bottom line. Photo: Reuters
The cost of broadcast rights for the FIFA World Cup and related content has put a pressure on TVB’s bottom line. Photo: Reuters

TVB takes aim at set-top box ‘piracy’

Internet TV set-top boxes like the Xiaomi Box are mounting unfair competition and eating in the pay-TV business of Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB, 00511.HK) by offering a treasure trove of pirated content, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday, citing TVB executive director Mark Lee.

Lee said TVB’s pay-TV revenue from Britain, Australia and the United States, among other overseas markets, has fallen sharply because of internet TV set-top boxes.

Addressing a shareholders’ meeting Thursday, Lee urged the government to remedy content infringement issues.

Lee also said the cost of broadcast rights for the FIFA World Cup and related content had put pressure on TVB’s short-term profitability but he expects the investment to reap long-term returns.

TVB has also linked up with PCCW (00008.HK) to enable viewers to watch all the 64 matches on Now TV and PCCW’s mobile platforms this summer.

In response to an increase in fines and penalties linked to product placement, TVB senior executives said their standards for indirect advertising in programs have remained constant but the regulator appears to have changed its enforcement tack in recent years.

Ming Pao quoted the Office of the Communications Authority as saying that broadcasters had challenged the regulatory bottom line and regulation enforcement standards remain the same.

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