Three companies (PCCW, City Telecom and i-cable all through newly formed companies to overcome the cross-media restrictions in Hong Kong) applied for free-to-air TV licences following an announcement from the Government a few years back that the duopoly in this market would be abolished. A few years after the three applications from the new entrants were filed it seems there could still be a long wait for the government’s decision on free-to-air TV licences. However, the government emphasised that there is no political considerations behind the delay.
One of the two current free-to-air licence holders, ATV staged a protest recently against the government’s plan to issue more free-to-air TV licences. Already affected by a drop in viewership, many believe that more competition would give an impetus to the station to be more pro-active in fighting for higher viewership and force it to revamp its programmes.