TVB's gaudy anniversary was marred by loud protests, even as their stars competed for extravagant prizes.
A large gathering of fans angry at the fact that TVB now holds the sole free-to-air TV licence held a 'funeral' outside the venue of the event.
In light of this, TVB is finally taking steps to address the relentless public backlash in the aftermath of the free-to-air TV license controversy.
On November 18, TVB General Managers Mark Lee (李寶安) and Cheng Shin Keong (鄭善強) invited media executives to a luncheon to speak their minds about some of the groundless hatred directed at their company.
After Ricky Wong’s (王維基) HKTV failed to obtain a free-to-air TV license in October, the public took to the streets to demand an explanation. Fueled by Hong Kong’s turbulent social and political landscape, many locals took the opportunity to express their displeasure towards the government.
As a corporate giant that enjoys monopolistic authority over Hong Kong’s TV industry, TVB suddenly found itself a target of the mob’s animosity. Netizens were quick to mock the station’s production quality, turning unpopular shows and catchphrases into sarcastic memes.
Some seem intent on bringing the company down altogether, rallying their peers to turn off the TV on the night of the TVB Anniversary Gala in an attempt to lower ratings and scare away sponsors. While the media attempted to portray all sides in equal light, some members are particularly outspoken against TVB, publishing a large amount of opinionated content that, to the company, is borderline slander. Mr. Lee feels that these malicious reports are “organized, purposeful attempts to target TVB.”
The management team has decided to take legal action and will pursue other means to protect TVB’s brand and clear its name. Although viewers frequently complain about TVB series’ production values, Mr. Lee insists that the quality has remained consistent and described the difficulties in pleasing multiple demographics. To entertain its broad spectrum of viewers, TVB has plans to transform J2 into a more youth-oriented station, and will produce a reality show to nurture young entrepreneurs.
The company will also expand its online presence via streaming platform MyTV, hoping to take part in the growing mobile culture. For its loyal fans, TVB will release GoldTV, a premium service model that will launch before January 1. For $59 HKD a month or $500 HKD a year, subscribers will be able to access over 13,000 hours of classic dramas and variety shows on demand; its selection will rotate per a regular schedule.