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The games are on! Free-TV deal signed

Phila Siu and Eddie Luk

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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An agreement has been reached between the three TV stations over broadcasting the London Olympics.

Commerce Secretary Gregory So Kam-leung announced that i-Cable, TVB and ATV hammered out a deal on broadcasting the Games after seven hours of closed-door discussions.

This means Hongkongers will be able to see at least 200 hours of Olympic broadcasts on free-to-air TV.

TVB and ATV have agreed to pay i-Cable an undisclosed amount to buy 200 hours of Olympic events, including the opening and closing ceremonies. TVB and ATV will jointly produce the Games package.

TVB group general manager Mark Lee Po-on said it is a win-win-win deal for the three sides and described the money to be paid as "rational."

"We will pay a sum of money that we think is reasonable to i-Cable so that we can select 200 hours of Games events to be broadcast on TVB and ATV channels," Lee said.

He declined to disclose the amount.

So said he is very happy that the three TV stations have reached an agreement based on the wishes of Hong Kong citizens.

Earlier yesterday, TVB and ATV jointly issued a rate card of how much commercials in their Olympic broadcasts would cost if they had to go it alone.

According to the rate card, which carried the logos of both stations, a commercial of up to 30 seconds would cost HK$600,000 and be played 161 times.

The rate card claimed a commercial would reach an audience of more than 20 million.

It was not immediately clear if the rate still holds under the new agreement.


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