Date
27 May 2017
Stephen Chan (inset) says Commercial Radio has complied with all license renewal requirements, adding the delay is abnormal. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK
Stephen Chan (inset) says Commercial Radio has complied with all license renewal requirements, adding the delay is abnormal. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK

Commercial Radio questions delay in govt action on new license

Commercial Radio Hong Kong has yet to receive a new license from the government, with just six months left in its current operating permit.

The delay is “abnormal” given that regulators have been granting license renewals at least a year early, Apple Daily reports, citing Commercial Radio adviser Stephen Chan.

The government last renewed Commercial Radio’s license in July 2003, more than one year before it expired.

Also, Metro Broadcast Corp. Ltd. has a pending renewal application, the report said.

The Communications Authority said it submitted its recommendations to the Chief Executive and the Executive Council on May 15, 2015, or nine months ago.

Chan, who has worked in the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, said there has not been any instance when a broadcaster did not hear from the government regarding its renewal application in the last year of its license.

Nor has there been any word from the government regarding any new license conditions, he said.

Chan said Commercial Radio has complied with all license renewal requirements. 

Former chief secretary Henry Tang has said Leung Chun-ying proposed shortening Commercial Radio’s license when he was convenor of the Executive Council.

Tang made the revelation during the 2012 chief executive election campaign where he ran against Leung.

Anthony Fung, director of the school of journalism and communication in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the government should hold itself to a deadline in announcing the results of license renewal applications, Ming Pao Daily reports.

Fung said such decisions should be made at least 12 months before the license expires to give the applicant enough time to consider its options.

Also, it will give regulators more flexibility if they decide to appoint a new operator.

Fung said any delay will only encourage speculation about the government’s motives.

Meanwhile, unnamed sources quoted by Ming Pao said Commercial Radio’s licence renewal is “nearing completion” and only technical issues rermain.

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EL/AC/RA

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