The Communications Authority licenses television broadcast stations in Hong Kong.
An historical requirement of all licencees has been to include required broadcasts of a specified number of hours of programme put out by Radio Television Hong Kong (“RTHK”) the government owned broadcast station.
Given the fact of availability of RTHK broadcast programmes through digital terrestrial channels now reaching 99% of the population of Hong Kong and given also the accessibility of RTHK TV programmes through the RTHK website and mobile Apps one licencee has requested the Communications Authority to lift the requirement of minimum broadcasting of RTHK programmes. The Communications Authority is persuaded that there is no justifiable reason to continue to require commercial broadcast licencees to broadcast RTHK programmes. Furthermore this lifting would enable the commercial broadcast licencees to put the spectrum and airtime released to more efficient use and also to generate more advertising or sponsorship income focussing their business in the light of the increasing challenges faced by the broadcasting industry in particular through the explosive growth of digital advertising on social media. Accordingly, on the basis that the decision would be consistent with the policy objective to facilitate innovation and sustainable development of the broadcasting industry the Communications Authority has announced the revocation of the direction for broadcast licencees to include RTHK programmes with effect from the 4th March 2020.