Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB, 00511.HK), one of Hong Kong’s free-to-air television broadcasters, is eliminating 50 jobs amid weak advertising revenue, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
The job cuts mainly affect personnel involved in non-drama production, program development and production planning, as well as branding and communications, it said.
Mark Lee Po-on, a general manager at TVB, attributed the layoffs to poor advertising revenue growth as retailers cut back after slower sales this year.
A rise in piracy also hurt the company’s income from pay-TV business both locally and overseas, especially during the FIFA World Cup period.
Affected employees will receive severance pay in lieu of notice and special remuneration. Some posts will be eliminated through natural staff attrition and cutting of available vacancies.
TVB has seen its advertising revenue grow just 5 percent in the first half this year despite having bagged broadcast rights for World Cup football tournament in Brazil.
Its operating margin decreased to 28 percent, sending net profit down 9 percent from a year ago to HK$700 million (US$90.31 million) in the six months to June.
Rumors have been circulating that the company may cut as many 100 jobs because of the poor results.
The layoffs could be part of TVB’s bigger plan in response to the challenge that may arise from the allocation of new licenses for free-TV broadcasting in the city, said Anthony Fung Ying-him, director of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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