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Chief Executive in Council approves termination from June 1 of pay TV licence of Hong Kong Cable Television Limited
     The Government announced today (February 14) that the Chief Executive (CE) in Council has approved the termination of the domestic pay television programme service (pay TV) licence of Hong Kong Cable Television Limited (HKCTV) from June 1, 2023.

     HKCTV wrote to the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development and the Chairman of the Communications Authority (CA) respectively on September 30, 2022, to seek the approval of the CE in Council for the termination of its pay TV licence. Having examined HKCTV's application in accordance with established practice, the CA considers that HKCTV has no outstanding obligations and liabilities accrued under the licence. It also notes that the company has put forward exit/migration arrangements for subscribers following the termination of the licence. Having considered the views of the CA, the CE in Council agrees that HKCTV's surrender of licence is purely a commercial decision, and it should be up to HKCTV to assess its own business prospects. As the Government should not impose unnecessary exit barriers, the CE in Council has approved the application.

     A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said, "HKCTV has been operating at a deficit in recent years amidst a difficult business environment. The surrender of the pay TV licence is purely commercially driven, and the Government respects HKCTV's decision. We understand that HKCTV's application will not affect the other businesses under the group companies of i-Cable, its mother company, including the free television services of Fantastic TV and telecommunications (including broadband and fixed telephony, etc) services. As a matter of fact, Fantastic TV launched an additional free television programme channel late last year, mainly offering news and information programmes, thereby providing audiences with more programme choices.
     "The Government has reminded HKCTV to properly handle the exit/migration arrangements of its subscribers so as to protect consumer rights, as well as to handle the follow-up arrangements for its staff after the termination of its pay TV services in strict compliance with the relevant requirements under the Employment Ordinance," the spokesman continued.

     The pay TV licence of HKCTV was renewed for 12 years by the CE in Council in December 2016, with the original period of validity from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2029. The Office of the Communications Authority will closely monitor HKCTV's progress of implementing its exit arrangements.
Ends/Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:08
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