Hong Kong free and pay TV broadcaster TVB is to shut down its loss-making pay TV service, citing a governmental failure to provide sustainable market conditions for the business, according to the South China Morning Post.
TVB, which has been plagued by piracy, accused the Hong Kong government of doing little to address the issue, according to the paper.
TVB recently issued a profit warning, telling shareholders that profits for the 2016 financial year would be 55-65% down on 2015, citing a weak advertising market, among other factors.
TVB’s exit from pay TV leaves two players still in the field – PCCW’s Now TV and i-Cable Communications-owned cable and MMDS operator Cable TV Hong Kong.
TVB was one of four companies to secure pay TV licences in 2000 that have since shut down their services. Rivals TV Plus and Yes Television handed back their licences four years later while Hong Kong Network TV never launched, giving up its licence in 2001.
In addition to its pay TV operation, provided by a separate subsidiary, TVB Network Vision Limited, TVB also operates an OTT TV service, launched last year. According to the company, the service, myTV Super, which is available via set-top boxes and mobile apps, passed two million users by December last year, substantially surpassing a previously set target of 1.4 million by November 2017.
TVB said that the success of myTV Super, which was launched in April last year, meant that its start-up losses to the end of December would be HK$50 million, half the previous estimate of HK$100 million.
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