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Free TV licence of TVB renewed

     The Government today (May 12) announced that the Chief Executive in Council has approved the application for renewal of the domestic free television programme service (free TV) licence of Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) for a period of 12 years from December 1, 2015, to November 30, 2027.

     TVB has committed to a six-year investment plan of $6,336 million for 2016 to 2021, comprising $144 million of capital investment and $6,192 million of programming investment. It has also undertaken that each year at least 12,000 hours of the programmes on its service (representing about 27.4 per cent of its total programmes) will be local productions.

     "The licence conditions in the renewed licence of TVB are largely based on its existing licence, with additional requirements imposed to address public calls for improvements in its programming variety and quality," a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said.

     TVB is required to provide an additional four hours per week of positive programmes in total on its digital channels, which are currently exempted from such a programming requirement. These include current affairs programmes, documentaries, arts and culture programmes and programmes for young persons. All must be first-run programmes with 60 minutes per week for each genre.

     "Furthermore, to respond to public aspirations and to facilitate the Government's policy of nurturing local talents, TVB has been required to provide on its licensed service independent local productions on an incremental basis from 20 hours per year in 2016 to 60 hours per year by 2020," the spokesman said.

     Other requirements including provision of first-run positive programmes and the licensee's commitment to enhance provision of subtitling to its digital services have also been incorporated in the renewed licence.

     The free TV licence of TVB will be subject to a mid-term review in 2021.

     In processing the application for licence renewal by TVB, the Communications Authority (CA) carried out a comprehensive assessment on its performance and conducted a public consultation exercise from February 4 to April 3, 2014, to gauge public views on TVB's service. The CA submitted its recommendation to the Chief Executive in Council in November last year.

     "The regulator considers that TVB has generally complied with the statutory requirements, the licence conditions and the codes of practice in respect of television programming, advertising and technical standards.

     "The CA accepted TVB's proposed investment plan and is satisfied with its financial capability to deliver the commitment," the spokesman said.

     TVB's free TV licence was last renewed in November 2002, with a validity period of 12 years from December 1, 2003, to November 30, 2015.

Ends/Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:16


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