Online video platform LeTV (300104.CN) is planning a series of Hong Kong television dramas costing up to HK$1 million (US$129,000) each.
The investment marks the company’s foray into the domestic television market dominated by terrestrial broadcaster TVB and online provider HKTV, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
The drama series will have no commercials and will be uploaded to LeTV’s video portal three to five episodes at a time, the report said citing Tin Mok, LeTV executive vice president for Asia Pacific.
TVB general manager Zheng Shanqiang said LeTV does not pose any serious competition.
He said successful shows are determined by content and production values, not by how much an episode costs.
TVB will launch an OTT (over the top) platform in January 2016 to provide free play-on-demand programs, with a monthly service fee under HK$50, he said.
HKTV (01137.HK) chairman Ricky Wong welcomed LeTV’s plan to produce local dramas but said the company would be hard pressed to keep its promise not to show commercials.
Most Hong Kong viewers are willing to pay for three types of programs only — news, movies and the FA Premier League — and it takes time to see if LeTV’s strategy is attractive, Wong said.
Last year, LeTV launched its Hong Kong service and began selling its 50-inch 4K TV for as low as HK$3,750.
Customers are required to sign a two-year service contract for a monthly fee of HK$99.
Mok said that within a year, LeTV hopes to land in the top three of Hong Kong’s pay-TV market which is controlled by i-Cable and Now TV.
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