TVB surrenders licence as it quits Hong Kong pay-TV market | Major Businesses | Business
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Hong Kong broadcaster TVB is closing its pay-TV division after losing more than HK$2.2 billion, according to local reports.

TVB logo HQThe company has cited widespread online piracy, growing competition from Internet streaming platforms and the economic slowdown as reasons for its failure to make a success of its pay-TV arm TVB Network Vision.

The business has also reportedly accused the Government of failing to provide a sustainable environment for the industry, according to the South China Morning Post.

TVB Network Vision offered a selection of international and local channels, including 13 self-produced channels.

It was the only service remaining of the four operators who were granted licences in 2000 to run pay-TV services in Hong Kong. In 2004 TV Plus and Yes Television both returned their licences, while Hong Kong Network TV quit the market in 2000, after failing to ever launch a service.

The only surviving pay-TV operators in the city are Cable TV Hong Kong and Now TV.

TVB has warned of a sharp drop in net profit for 2016, with net earnings expected to have fallen by between 55-65%.

“The deteriorating business and operating environment in recent years have rendered the pay-TV business not commercially viable,” a TVB spokesman is quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post.

“Regrettably, the Government has done little to address the issues, particularly online piracy and some of the regulatory provisions which do not keep up with the times,” he added.

TVB operates five digital television channels, including its flagship Jade (Chinese) and Pearl (English) channels, providing free and diversified television programming to over 2.45 million homes in Hong Kong.

Subscribers to TVB Network Vision would be offered packages to migrate to TVB’s over-the-top (OTT) service myTV SUPER once the Government accepted the surrender of the licence, the broadcaster said.

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