Ricky Wong Wai-kay, chairman of Hong Kong Television Network Ltd. (01137.HK, HKTN), expects his newly launched online channel to turn a profit soon, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.
The first TV station in the city transmitting “over the top” (OTT) of the internet attracted 250,000 viewers in the first seven hours upon its debut Wednesday, Wong said.
There are roughly one million devices in Hong Kong that can allow people to watch HKTV programs using OTT technology, including 330,000 smart TVs and 670,000 smartphones with apps installed.
About 30 commercial advertisers have shown support, heralding decent advertising revenues that could help the station break even soon, Wong said.
He plans to restart construction at a production complex in Tseung Kwan O that will accommodate four studios across 300,000 square feet. It is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2016.
The new TV station is relying on income from commercials, export of its productions and an online shopping platform.
However, observers doubt the business model is sustainable, as HKTV charges about HK$10,000 (US$1,289) for a two-minute commercial break in an online TV program.
That compares with a commercial break of three to five minutes on traditional TV channels that costs about HK$100,000.
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