Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB, 00511.HK), Hong Kong’s dominant terrestrial TV broadcaster, is cutting back investment after winning a 12-year license renewal, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
TVB will invest HK$6.34 billion (US$817.9 million) in the six years to 2021, unchanged from its 2010-2015 spending but significantly lower adjusted for inflation.
The Executive Council announced the license renewal on Tuesday, saying the station had committed HK$144 million in capital expenses and another HK$6.19 billion in program production investment.
The company will produce at least 12,000 hours of in-house programming every year, accounting for 27.4 percent of the total.
The Communications Authority said TVB will continue to operate under its existing frequency until Nov. 30, 2027.
That means 480,000 households with no digital set-top boxes, or 20 percent of TVB audience, will continue to receive analog signal until 2020, when this mode of transmission will be phased out.
The authority recently denied the license renewal application of Asia Television Ltd. It will shut down on April 1, 2016.
To Yiu-ming, an associate professor in the School of Communication of Hong Kong Baptist University, said TVB’s monopoly status is raising concern about the quality of its future programs.
Former TVB general manager Stephen Chan said the broadcaster’s budget cut in the next six years does not mean production quality will be compromised.
He said the company has invested heavily in digital technology.
Translation by Vey Wong
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