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TMCNet:  HKTN to launch Internet TV service in July

[December 20, 2013]

HKTN to launch Internet TV service in July

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HONG KONG, Dec. 20 -- (Kyodo) _ Hong Kong Television Network, which recently failed in its bid to win a free-to-air TV license, will in July next year start broadcasting news and entertainment programs via so-called "over-the-top" Internet content services, operator and owner Ricky Wong said Friday.

"Free TV is not about free of charge but freedom," Wong told reporters as he announced the resumption of operation of his network and rehiring of laid-off staff. "Hong Kong people want more a television station that is free and self-controlled than one that is simply free of charge." In October HKTN was denied a free-to-air, non-subscription television license after a review process that began in 2009, with the government deciding to allow only two of the three contenders to operate in Hong Kong's free TV market.

Wong said HKTN will provide up to five channels of drama, entertainment and news programs from July via the OTT platform which can be viewed on smartphones, tablet computers and televisions with a receiver.

Wong acquired a multimedia subsidiary from China Mobile Ltd. for its rights to broadcast for HK$140 million (about US$18 million). He said the acquisition was "pure business" and without any political interference.

The broadcast service will cover more than 90 percent of Hong Kong's geographical area and the license will last until August 2025.

(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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