After their failure to obtain a free-to-air license from the Hong Kong government, HKTV announced that they will broadcast on the Internet instead. Similar to over-the-top (OTT) content provided by Netflix and Hulu, HKTV’s Internet channels will commence in July 2014.
According to an article in Popular Asians, HKTV’s OTT system will be highly user friendly. The new platform will allow consumers to have access to multimedia content through their smartphones, tablets, personal computers and smart TVs.
This service will comprise of three to five channels, including a Cantonese channel, as well as a 24-hour news channel. Most content will be available free, with the exception of some video-on-demand services. To support its new Internet strategy, HKTV announced that they will reorganize their management and rehire the 320 employees originally laid off.
To aid its Internet broadcasting strategy, HKTV forked out approximately $142 million to acquire China Mobile Hong Kong Corporation Ltd. During a press conference, Ricky Wong (王維基) said, “This is a misunderstanding, the company is only a subsidiary to only provide TV service; it has nothing to do with the mobile phone services.”
Consumers will only have to purchase a receiver for no more than $700 HKD in order to receive the Internet programming offered by HKTV, as normal online connections are too choppy to watch broadcast content. The networks will be so stable that even rural areas will be able to receive signals.
HKTV will offer approximately 260 hours of drama content in 2014 and 520 hours in 2015. Ricky plans to add 800 to 1,000 more employees in the next two years to accommodate for increase in productions.
Photos in the gallery shows snapshots of a recent protest when HKTV failed to obtain a free-to-air license from the Hong Kong government.